Is your past holding you back from finding a job? Have you faced addiction issues, a criminal record, anxiety, depression or health issues, or just a lack of the right education or skills to get work?
It’s not always easy to ask for help if you’re a man struggling to overcome such personal and professional barriers.
Cyrille, who came to Canada in 2019 as a refugee from Uganda, understands this well. The 35-year-old speaks three languages, French, Swahili and English, but faced many obstacles in entering the labour market in Canada, including not having any Canadian experience.
Frustrated, he did some research on the internet to see if there was anywhere he could turn for help. He found DIVERSEcity’s SAHARA Employment Program for Men.
“The program helped me to get my first job in Canada,” Cyrille says happily.
The DIVERSEcity employment specialist, Ravi, who worked closely with Cyrille helped him through the job search process, including learning how to write an effective resumé and cover letter. More importantly, he connected Cyrille with a paid work experience as a production worker with Kintec Footwear and Orthotics. Kintec then hired him on permanently. “[My employment specialist] taught me about Canadian work culture, how to job search and helped place me into my current full-time job.”
In addition to learning job search skills, the SAHARA program helps men access free occupational skills training, and basic computer and digital literacy training.
“The men we help at DIVERSEcity greatly benefit from training to gain skills that employers want,” says Ravi. “We also offer workshops and one-on-one coaching on general life skills, as well offer counselling to address the emotional and complex issues the men in our program often face.” says Ravi.
SAHARA graduate Shawn says, “The biggest thing I learned was the notion of soft skills and interpersonal relationships as being more important than the rudimentary knowledge that most jobs require. This has changed the way I view the interview process, and with feedback from [my employment specialist] I’ve practised some new ways of answering standard interview questions,” he says. “The program was useful and I learned a lot.”
Another client Mohamud says, “I thank you and do appreciate all the learning I received from workers like Ravi and Luz Marina was very good. I feel I learned a lot from all of them.”
To other men in similar situations to them, Cyrille concludes: “Go for training and get help from agencies like DIVERSEcity.”