On September 28, 2020, the Refugee and Immigrant Supports to Employment (RAISE) Workplace Language Training (WLT) program held an appreciation event to acknowledge the efforts of its volunteer workplace language trainers. These volunteers have successfully supported RAISE clients in increasing their workplace language competencies, over a three-month period.
RAISE WLT is an employment retention program that responds to the individual refugee and immigrant clients’ language needs, in the critical stages of maintaining employment. This program is offered to RAISE clients that we support to employment, during their first three months of employment.
“We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to our volunteer workplace language trainers, whose time, hard work and commitment have truly made a difference in the lives of the newcomers participating in this program,” says Karyn Steer, Manager, Community Economic Development program, OCISO. “These volunteers have helped our clients strengthen their English language skills, which is key to their long-term success in the workforce.”
At the appreciation event, volunteer workplace language trainers, as well as one client, shared anecdotes about their individual journeys in the program. Each volunteer received a certificate to recognize their commitment and contribution to the program.
“Honestly, OCISO’s system for volunteers is exceptional,” says Gbemi Akinboyo, Volunteer Workplace Language Trainer. “I have been personally impressed by your recruitment phase and work processes. I did not expect more than a thank you letter, as I am used to volunteering. Please keep up this model standard, and if possible, document and share it widely with other organizations.” “I arrived in Canada almost nine months ago,” says Dubercy Barrero Zea, RAISE client.“I was only able to study English for two months, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I only have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 2 in English. However, thanks to Alexis who helped me join this program and Geetha, who shared her time and knowledge with me, I could learn new things, words and language structures that will be useful in my learning path. Even though our lessons were online, for two hours a week during 12 weeks, I believe this opportunity was very valuable and it should get as much support as necessary.
“Leaving one’s home county is a challenging experience, and it is even harder when your ability to communicate depends on learning another language, in order to better interact and integrate in their society from all different angles, such as education, work and society,” explained Dubercy.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer workplace language trainer, information can be found here.