Left or right. Apples to oranges. Black or white. These are some of the comparisons we've had to how drastic the methods for instructing workshops our Employment Services team had to face in the matter of days. In the midst of a global pandemic, our Employment Services team went from instructing in-person, interactive workshops, to delivering them entirely online.
"It has definitely been a new experience," says Pippa Parnham, Employment Specialist regarding her transition to remote work. "While I have not delivered workshops online before, our team has worked together to support one another and create new content, delivery methods and processes so that we can continue to support our clients. The work transition was very smooth as a result."
Centre for Skills Employment Services workshops are now offered through the video conferencing software Zoom, where clients can tune into a session from the comfort of their own home. The workshops are usually an hour long and free for participants. "The workshops have also been modified to suit this delivery method so that those who have other responsibilities or kids at home can tune in and only take 45 minutes to an hour out of their day and get the key information they need."
Not only did these employment and skills upgrading workshops change in their delivery method, but the type of content offered has changed as well.
"It's crucial to address the current situation of COVID-19 in relation to our workshops, because job searching may not look the same as it did before," says Pippa. "One of the things we talk about is acknowledging the uniqueness of this situation. There are no guidebooks, so we need to be kind to ourselves."
In one of her workshops, Pippa provides tips on how to job search during a pandemic. "We need to dispel the myth that there is a hiring freeze on now. Companies are still hiring! The methods just may be different."
Other workshops being offered include connecting with a Registered Dietian about healthy eating on a budget, question and answer sessions with legal experts about worker's rights, planning tips for financial security with a Financial Educator, stress management tips and mindfulness practices with an Occupational Therapist, and many more job search and skill upgrading lessons.
"We want to provide support that is relevant to our current situation," says Carolyn Henderson, Employment Services Coordinator. "COVID-19 has effected people in a multitude of ways, so tailoring our teachings to address challenges our clients may be facing at this moment is important."
"These workshops are also designed to be an overview. An Employment Specialist can help our clients dive deeper into their next career move and really prepare for opportunities. Setting up a one-to-one appointment through phone, email, or online services is encouraged," says Pippa.
To learn more about current workshops being offered, visit: http://centreforskills.ca/workshops-and-events