ACCESS Essential Skills for Aboriginal Futures

ACCESS became aware of Essential Skills in 2005. At that time, we were all new to the concept but interested in finding out more, so we invested in ES training with Douglas College and were open minded and optimistic to see where it would take us. It didn’t take long for us to recognize the benefit that ES would make in improving our client’s achievement abilities towards their training and employment goals.

Our objective is to level the playing field for our clients by equipping them in advance to succeed in training and employment by building up their Essential Skills abilities and self-confidence.

Our program uses an innovative approach that focuses on specific skill development related to the job or training goal. Learning is in a classroom environment and consists of experiential group learning and one to one teaching.

Location British Columbia
Download project details

Heather Crosby, ACCESS
#201-681 Columbia Street New Westminster, BC

Essential Skills for Aboriginal Futures ES Programs

ESAF has been delivering Essential Skills (ES) training programs to the urban Aboriginal community in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) since June 2007. ES training is core to all programing being delivered. ESAF has run as many as 9 programs per year with an average of 14-16 participants per program.

• ESAF Pre-Technical Trades courses are designed to equip participants with the skills needed to successfully complete advanced technical training. These 8-12-week ES training programs prepare participant to successfully complete technical training at vocational/technique training institutions such as the British Columbia Institute of Technology. ESAF program staff work closely with partnering vocational institutions to determine skills and knowledge ESAF participants will need to meet entry requirements and successfully complete advance training programs. ES curriculum is then developed to reflect the training materials and texts used at partnering vocational training institutions and the skills set and knowledge first year apprentices are required to have.

• Pre technical training program has prepared participants advance technical training in the following: Millwright, Arborist Technician, Carpentry, Pipe Fitting, Metal Fabrication, Machinist, Bridge Watchman, Dental Assistant, Machinist, Construction Safety Officer, IT Technician, Bookkeeping.

• ESAF’s Employer Partnership 8 week program trains learners for specific employer- identified occupations with the goal of moving participants directly to employment. Participants receive focused instruction in the Essential Skills most important to the specific occupation for which they are being trained. Needed ES are taught within the context of the specific work tasks associated with each occupation. Again ESAF work closely with employer partners to determine the workplace essential skills, knowledge and attitudes needed for entry into the occupation so that the ES curriculum can be tailored to the skills requirements of the job. Learners participate in work placements with partnering employers and upon completion learners are provided interviews for prospective hires with the Employer Partner.

• This year ESAF is piloting a 2-month Film Industry training program in partnership with the Indigenous International Film Festival. Participants will learn the film industry by creating their own film which when completed will be shown at the Festival.

• Career X program: An 8-week program

Participants realize how their unique gifts, talents and interests can translate into fulfilling employment. They will gain more focus and clarity about their direction and are able to take a more confident and proactive approach towards their training plan. With a clear plan of action to reach future employment goals.

Course Modules
Career Planning, Participants engage in activities designed to identify and target a career path. Career exploration includes: researching occupations, salaries and educational requirements and assessments.

Practical Skills, Participants explore and apply practical skills for dealing with daily living situations such as managing time, stress and change, work-life balance and self-awareness.

Essential Skills, Once the employment goal is established, skill gaps are identified and individual essential skill learning plans designed to increase essential skill abilities.

Labour Market, Participants will explore the future labour market trends, learn how to respond to job postings, develop their resume, cover letter and reference list and learn how to make a positive first impression

Project Details
Community Urban
Scope of Project Local
Target Audience First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Youth (15-30 yrs), Adults (31-49 yrs), Older workers (50+ yrs), Other