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COMMUNITY SERVICES | Working with Scarborough residents to build strong and healthy communities

Skills Training Advancement Training for Refugees (STAR)

Project Overview

The project, Skills Training Advancement for Refugees (STAR), is funded under the Province’s 2017 Call for Proposals related to Settlement and Integration Services for Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers, which seeks to enhance the settlement and employment supports available to vulnerable newcomers, with a focus on refugees and refugee claimants, to facilitate their social and/or economic integration.  This project is an economic integration project. It provides targeted labour market integration supports for eligible clients, and supports specialized programming that combines language learning and work experience, while facilitating job placement.

Project Description

The project, Skills Training Advancement for Refugees (STAR), will support the language training, licensing, certification and labour market integration of refugees and vulnerable newcomers and enhance their English language fluency in an expedited and effective manner. Selected training programs in partnership with training centres will equip participants with viable and marketable skills directing them to employment leads. Participants will be connected to job opportunities upon completion of courses. The project will also offer in-house language training program in collaboration with training centres specifically to develop an industry focused curriculum. There will be flexibility and accommodation to ensure that refugees and vulnerable newcomers will be successful in their chosen occupation.

The project will target 500 participants to access the training  and language courses.   The project includes both pre- and post-employment supports, and has individual assessment and group training components. Information and training on workplace health and safety and employment standards are integral parts of the project.

Project Activities

Vocational assessment and service planning: Assess employment potential, transferrable skills, vocational interest, and client goals. Help clients identify education, training and/or job placement opportunities that will help them meet short and long-term employment objectives.

Pre-employment services: Provide targeted, first-language orientation for job seekers with low education and official language fluency. The orientation should include:

  • Key information about local labour market opportunities.
  • In-class training on occupational health and safety, using adult learning principles, for literacy level no higher than grade 4 and with learning outcomes to meet worker awareness training requirements under O.Reg. 297/13: Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training.
  • Employment standards and labour law.
  • Workplace culture.
  • One-on-one job search assistance, including resume and interview preparation

Job-specific language instruction, skills training and work placement: Deliver occupation specific language and skills training, together with work exposure and experience. In particular:

  • Job search workshops coordinated with partner employment agencies
  • Job-specific training opportunities for the following occupations: security guards, hairstylists and barbers, forklift truck operators, store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers, cashiers and home child care providers
  • Fast-track Language Training Program that focuses on conversational strategies in learning the English language for participants below CLB level 5

Employer engagement: Cultivate relationships with employers, organize job fairs, and assist employers in considering opportunities to match refugees and other vulnerable newcomers to job vacancies. Leverage employer subsidies to facilitate job placement. In particular:

  • Connect with employment agencies, settlement agencies, refugee centres, shelters, community health centres and refugee clinics for project awareness and referra
  • Conduct business presentations with local businesses about the project to encourage them to participate and hire refugees and vulnerable newcomer
  • Forge new partnerships with different companies to provide unique, effective and immediate employment support for refugee
  • Field trips and mentorship initiatives will also be initiate
  • ACSA will work with Training Centres that have employment support in place to guarantee job placement for participants after course completion

Coaching and job retention: Develop coaching and mentoring models that help new hires build the skills and work habits required for long-term success in their new work environment.

Wrap-around supports: Provide complementary supports that maximize opportunities for success, including childcare, transportation and interpretation.


Eligible Clients

The following individuals are eligible for services delivered through the Project:

·         Protected persons, including:

o   Resettled refugees (government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees and blended visa office referred cases)

o   Refugees landed in Canada

o   Those determined to be:

-Convention Refugees

-Persons in need of protection (for example, due to risk of torture)

·         Refugee claimants, including those awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

·         Other vulnerable newcomers with vulnerabilities such as high health or mental health needs, mobility and other disabilities, and low education and official language fluency.


Trainings to be Provided

Security Guard Training

Forklift Truck Operator


Food Handling

First Aid CPR


Industry specific Language Training

  • One-on-one support to learn the English language  in order to reach the language level necessary to register in the training courses identified above
  • Small classes available
  • Field trip to the partner Training Centres to familiarize the learners with the industry specific environment

To register and for more information please get in touch with our STAR Team

Christine Youssef, Project Lead                                   Tel: (416) 292-6912 ext 302   Cel: (416) 993-6086

Marall Daneil, Employment & Training Specialist         Cel: (416) 993-8031

Victor Reyes, Language Training Specialist                  Cel: (416) 993-2938

Salvador Flamenia, Language Training Specialist         Cel: (416) 292-6912 ext. 334







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