À Toronto, des mères célibataires ou séparées vivant du bien-être social et des allocations familiales, ont remporté une première victoire face aux dirigeants d'EIC. Après une longue lutte, dont ont parlé les média et à laquelle a participé le CCPEF, ces femmes ont réussi à obtenir que le gouvernement ontarien et Emploi Canada financent le projet de formation en milieu de travail, créé par elles et baptisé "Programme d'emploi et de formation en secrétariat".

Ce projet, qui doit commencer le 4 octobre de cette année, permettra aux participantes de travailler comme secrétaires dans des organismes communautaires, tout en perfectionnant leurs connaissances et aptitudes grâce a des cours d'anglais, de dactylographie, de traitement des données, etc.

by Terry Dance

A step was taken this summer to expand the number of job training programs for women on welfare and family benefits in Toronto.

After a bitter fight, publicized in all the major media, STEP (Secretarial Training & Employment Program) has been promised funding by the Ontario government and Canada Manpower. Cosponsored by Dixon Hall, a community centre in a major Toronto public housing area, and George Brown College, the program is due to start up on October 4th, 1982. It is scheduled to run twice a year. For the pioneers of the program - seven women who stuck with the original project despite CEIC's refusal to fund it in midstream - the hard won victory represented a giant step forward.

STEP's predecessor - the Dixon Hall Job Preparation Program - began in March, 1982 with 13 students. The program offered sole support mothers the novel combination of various community agencies in a clerical capacity, and also received classroom instruction in Business, English, Shorthand, Typing, Word Processing, Office Procedures, Life Skills, and Job Search techniques. Laurie, one of our recent graduates, sums up the program's unique approach as she experienced it. "The educational component provides the knowledge and the job provides a place to practice it".

Canada Employment had promised in January of 1982 to fund the program as a Work Adjustment Training project. WAT offers the unskilled and unemployed 35 hours a week in a job situation where the client is expected to learn through osmosis. For skills training, clients are referred to full-time academic programs via the community college system. When regional officials discovered skills training was a component of the program, the money evaporated. As the Globe & Mail headline put it, "Fine Print Bars Job-Training Funds - Program doesn't fit pigeonhole". Five weeks into the program, the women were left with no pay, no subsidies for daycare costs, and no guarantee of payment to come. That's when the struggle began.

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