In June 2022 we asked our community partners in the Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) region to tell us what they have observed when they refer clients to adult training programs in Haliburton, City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland and Hastings. The following captures a summary of the benefits they shared in these discussions.
Thank you to our community partners for participating in this discussion and for the fantastic feedback. It really was great hearing how our programs are valuable to you and your clients.
Our partners said that the #1 benefit to adult training programs is the confidence their clients gained when they experience success. By reaching their goals, learners gained the confidence to move on to other learning opportunities such as post-secondary programs. For others, this increased confidence translated to success in job interviews and led to success on the job.
Someone said that adult training programs are “in the confidence-building business”.
Our partners shared some examples, including the learner who achieved their Grade 12 diploma when they didn’t think they could. Another learner was accepted into a college program when they never thought it was possible. One partner said their client discovered that they were not too old to learn. Others have heard their clients say they learned that they were capable of doing more than they thought.
We heard that there is value in our system of developing customized learning plans. Training is designed around the goals of each person; this means learners can focus on what they need to learn, and they don’t spend time covering material they already know. This is a real benefit for people anxious to move on to a job or further education.
It was also pointed out that our programs are flexible, which is important since many adult learners are also working, and many learners are women with children.
Learners in our programs:
- Learn alongside other adults
- Develop a customized learning plan
- Set their own goals
- Work on things they need to work on to reach their goal
- Set their own schedule to fit work and family life commitments
Hard Skills/Technical Skills
We heard that the hard skills, or technical skills, that people gain are another benefit to our adult training programs. Learners can refresh their skills or learn new skills. Our partners found that these hard skills increased job options for their clients. As well, many of the hard skills learned prepared their clients for success in post-secondary programs and apprenticeships.
Some skill examples below:
- Using a computer, phone and/or tablet
- Preparing for a driver’s license test
- Reading a tape measure
- Operating a Point-of-Sale machine
- Money math
- Math for the skilled trades
- Reading, writing and communication
Soft Skills/Transferable Skills
It was recognized that learners also develop transferable skills/soft skills. These skills help people with job retention. One person said they referred a client because they needed computer skills but, through the computer course, they also gained many soft skills. Another person developed conflict management skills, something that had been a barrier to their ability to retain jobs in the past.
Some skill examples below:
- Time management
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Working in a group
- Working independently
- Goal setting
Relationships and Community
Our partners also noticed that learners make connections with other people in our training programs. Connections are also developed with instructors. Learners develop community and often develop friendships with other participants. Many see the program as a touchpoint and often want to return to celebrate other accomplishments, e.g., acceptance in a program or finding a job. Our partners also told us that they are confident that their clients will be referred to other community services if there is a need.
Support and Transitions
Finally, our partners pointed out that when people are in transition, adult training programs are a good option. Many clients are referred for assistance as they prepare to return to the workplace or to a post-secondary program after some time away. Adult training programs help people with these transitions. This means our adult training programs often become a steppingstone to other successes.
Some transition examples:
- Parents returning to the workplace
- Those returning to work after an injury
- Those leaving jail
- People feeling stuck in a situation and needing support to move forward
- People needing a refresher before returning to school, including study skills and learning strategies
Thank you again to our partners for sharing their experiences and observations!
If you would like to make a referral or you are interested in attending one of our programs you can also contact any of our adult training programs directly.