Helping learners build literacy skills is central to many of PTP’s programs. Here’s a story about the determination of one of our learners in the Workforce Literacy and Essential Skills program.
Literacy Opens Doors
Osarague was a single parent receiving income assistance from Ontario Works. Her dream was to become a Personal Support Worker (PSW) but her poor literacy skills were a barrier to formal training in that field. She came to PTP for help.
PTP staff supported Osarague’s strong desire to improve her literacy – but they also realized that her aptitude and interest in cooking could make her a good fit for PTP’s hands-on Teamwork program. They placed her on the Food Team, where she was able to learn practical skills and improve her literacy in a food service setting. This placement was a great fit for Osarague. Her confidence and self-esteem increased week by week, and she began to see herself as a successful worker, just like her peers who were able to read. Every day, she brought remarkable determination and motivation to the workplace, driven by her tremendous desire to be able to read. Small successes turned into steady improvement and within months she was reading aloud at a staff meeting.
Osarague’s improved literacy and essential skills created a solid foundation that allowed her to progress to advanced training at the Hospitality Workers Training Centre in Toronto. Upon completion of her training, she accepted part-time work at a major hotel, where she demonstrated the same dedication and work ethic she had shown on the Food Team. That experience in turn helped her land a full-time job in the kitchen of a downtown hotel, where she drew enthusiastic praise from her employer, the chef. With these successes behind her, and her literacy skills significantly improved, Osarague was able to complete formal PSW training and become certified as a PSW. She now works full time at Bayshore Health Care – her dream job.
Osarague’s journey from social assistance to skilled work and reading competency is a tribute to her drive and determination, and the support she received through PTP’s literacy and teamwork programs.
79% of LBS learners achieved measurable learning gains
97% of PTP clients who completed their program reported they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘highly satisfied’ and would recommend PTP to others.
60% of PTP clients have been out of the workforce for a year or more. Of this 60%, one-third have been out of the workforce for more than 6 years.