When Tania Swan’s children entered school full-time she returned part-time.
Backed by a bachelor degree in science from the University of Victoria, the Sooke woman sought programs with the goal of returning to the workforce after 12 years as a stay-at-home mom.
She learned of, researched and signed on for the 10-week part-time Employment Skills Access Program at Royal Roads University.
“It was work, but it was transformational, because it assisted me in recognizing what I was doing was transferrable,” she said of skills developed during the first dozen years raising her kids. “They were marketable and transferable and I needed to look at them that way.”
The government funded training program often highlights for people the skills they already possess said, said Sandra Cranz., ESA Lead Program Coordinator, Continuing Studies at RRU.
”A common theme that we find is folks are lacking confidence and (have an) inability to talk about the skills that they have,” Cranz said. “We have a three-day behavioural interview component that really helps people build their confidence.”
Participants often range from early 20s to late 60s, including those with no post-secondary education to those with masters degrees out of the workforce for myriad reasons. Some of it is emotional, as it’s reflective, but the benefits are great, she said.
“It really focuses on helping people figure out the preferred employment with the preferred employer – it’s really about figuring out where your passions are and your beliefs and values and trying to match those with an employer,” Cranz said.
The approach worked for Swan, who wound up in a three-month contract at a job she enjoys and plans to continue to pursue.
“I didn’t have to compromise what I wanted. You have a choice, and I don’t think a lot of people necessarily know that,” Swan said. “If you can find something that melds with you then it’s fun and you can really succeed at it.”
The Applied and Professional Skills Certificate is designed to broaden communication, leadership, planning, performance management, problem-solving, team-building, social media and entrepreneurial skills as well as computer literacy with an aim to enhance job search skills and confidence.
“I looked at myself as an individual, ‘here’s what I want to do’ – It can provide so much to someone if they work at it,” Swan said. “It was work, but it was transformational, because it assisted me in recognizing what I was doing was transferrable.”
That transformation is not uncommon, Cranz said.
“The first day of class to the last leaves a visible difference in participants. We see a physical difference in folks in their confidence. It’s amazing.”
The next program starts with orientation May 23 at RRU. To find out if you’re eligible contact Kirsten Amadu at 250-391-2600 ext 4533 or Cranz at ext 4521.