OTEC partners with ACCES Employment

OTEC partners with ACCES Employment to provide innovative training solutions for new Canadians.

While many new Canadians have completed post-secondary education and training and have years of experience in their fields, they may not possess the soft skills required to impress prospective employers or to integrate successfully into the Canadian workplace.

Since 2005, the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) has been working with ACCES Employment to deliver Ready-to-Work training to ACCES clients.  ACCES Employment is a Toronto firm that helps internationally-trained job seekers find employment and integrate into the Canadian workplace.  They offer a suite of programs geared toward professionals in the Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, Financial Services, Information Technology, and Engineering fields. 

When the Canadian Workplace Essentials (CWE) program was released in 2009, OTEC successfully implemented the program with ACCES Employment.  The CWE is a modular program designed to provide a clear understanding of the values and attitudes that Canadian employers seek, ultimately helping new Canadians secure employment in the Canadian tourism industry. 

Seeing an opportunity to provided added value to ACCES Employment clients, OTEC helped the agency integrate a modified version of the CWE curriculum into two non-tourism programs: Sales and Marketing Connections and Human Resources Connections.  OTEC took a unique approach to developing and delivering CWE content in the two programs.  By taking the perspective of a manager assisting their diverse teams in successful integration into the Canadian workplace, the training takes into account the level of experience and expertise that ACCES clients already possess.  “As an added benefit, this approach really enhanced the inter-cultural elements of the programs,” says Adam Morrison, Director of Project Development at OTEC.

Using the flexible CWE program, OTEC enhanced ACCES Employment’s Sales and Marketing Connections training by assigning CWE modules to curriculum features that were already in place.  They also designed the orientation based on the new curriculum and trained facilitators for effective delivery.  The revamped Sales and Marketing Connections program was a success with participants and OTEC set out to design a generic CWE program that would be applicable to other industries. 

With the momentum generated by the Sales and Marketing Connections program, OTEC and ACCES Employment became more ambitious and designed a new 35-hour course for internationally-trained HR managers.  “These participants are a sophisticated audience,” says Morrison.  “We needed to present the soft skills required for success in the Canadian workplace in a way that did not undermine their past training and level of experience.”  They designed a program that explores CWE from an HR perspective, whereby the HR managers would be responsible for teaching a diverse Canadian workforce.  This approach required the participants to take an in-depth look at the skills so they could teach others. 

The world is getting smaller and the workplace is becoming more diverse. With OTEC and ACCES Employment training new Canadians on the soft skills they need to succeed in the Canadian workplace and other CTHRC provincial/territorial partners using the CWE for Ready-To-Work intakes and general training, the pool of skilled and qualified internationally-trained workers is growing.  These workers will be equipped to help reduce the impact of the predicted labour shortage, which will contribute toward a healthy and vibrant Canadian economy, which will contribute toward a healthy and vibrant Canadian economy.