Monday, February 7, 2011

Spotlight on Change for Women Over 40

Prince Edward Learning Centre has always been an innovative training centre; excited to try new things and eager to follow the needs of the community. Their newest program is no exception. Spotlight on Change is a training program for women over 40, who are challenged in their job search. These challenges may take the form of a lack of formal education, low self-esteem and self-confidence, years out of the workforce, situations of abuse, or a feeling of being lost or dissatisfied.

“This program is designed to help women increase their Essential Skills and their confidence so that they can build employability skills”, says Lori Farrington, PELC Instructor. Spotlight on Change honours how women learn and the challenges they face. The intent is to assist each woman to better understand herself and her unique blend of skills, strengths, needs, and interests as they relate to finding work.

“It’s not a job search program, nor a job training program. It’s an exploration of who you are and what you want. We see women who come through our office all the time who struggle with knowing what they would like out of life and some don’t know that choice is even an option. They seem very left behind and we think that’s devastating because they have so much to offer, but first we have to help them see that”, says Farrington.

Each woman will be encouraged to look inward to discover her strengths and interests, to explore her past experiences, and to acknowledge and overcome her challenges and barriers. Along the way, she makes change in her life in ways important to her. Designed to accommodate participants with low literacy proficiency and its associated lack of confidence, it also encourages women with higher skill levels to help those who are struggling. “It’s about community”, says Farrington. “It’s not about doing it on your own. This program acknowledges the importance of relationships, connectedness, caring, and feeling.”

Spotlight on Change runs mornings, five days a week from February 22 to March 11 at Prince Edward Learning Centre. Class size is limited. This first three week program will be followed this spring by a second program where students are encouraged to take what they have learned about themselves into the community. If you’re a woman over 40 who is struggling to enter the workforce, we can help. For more information, please call PELC at 613-476-1811.

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