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Employment organization helps newcomers to find a job in Manitoba

Opportunities for Employment (OFE) is a government-funded employment service agency created in 1996 that helps job seekers and employers to create long-term sustainable matches and grow Winnipeg’s labour market.

They offer free services to anyone who is 18 and older and classify as a newcomer, refugee, person with disabilities, ex-offenders, employment income assistance recipient or a person with no financial support at the moment.

“We want to equip the client, we don’t want to make them dependable but independent in their job search, so that in the future if they want to change careers, they know how to do it and how to really market their skills,” said Lisandra Lopez, Facilitator and Employment Consultant at OFE.

Amongst the services are accessing employee’s skills, equipping them with learning opportunities to address skill gaps and improve their overall employability, and connecting them with employers that are hiring. OFE has a “Job Search Action Plan” that consists of a guide to an effective job search. The participant will move through different levels while gaining new tools and skills by participating in different activities to help their job search be more effective.

“With our action plan, the quicker they progress through the leves, the sooner they will be leaving OFE with a brand new job,” said Lopez.

The organization works closely with employers actively hiring by sourcing the job opportunities and bringing them to OFE while also identifying sectors where most of the jobs are needed with an “in demand” kind of approach. They also offer workshops to help employees better prepare themselves for job interviews by showing them how to tailor their resumes and improve their abilities to answer interview questions.

“Even last year, during the pandemic, OFE was able to respond to the needs of the community by partnering with Shared Health to help them recruit a large number of uncertified health care aids,” she added.

On a pre-pandemic average, OFE has over 2000 clients per year, half of those newcomers. This year they’ve helped around 200 newcomers so far and 600 in 2020.

“We see a lot of people going through our doors on an annual basis, and our goal is to be able to place and help them find employment,” said Lopez.

OFE is currently not accepting in-person registration due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you can visit their website, www.ofe.ca or call 204-925-3490 to register.

– Juliana Vannucci, U Multicultural

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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