Bridges to Employment


To help and empower immigrants/newcomers, who are receiving social assistance, work towards their employment goals and literally change their lives for the better.


Bridges to Employment is a program affiliated with Centre for Education & Training. The program was birthed in 2005 to help immigrants/newcomers with the process of reaching their employment goal. Once the program was launched, many success stories followed after that. Clients in the past have found their dream jobs, temporary jobs and even went through additional training before seeking employment. The facilitator/coach will teach life lessons that will bring change to clients and help them gain practical knowledge of the workplace culture.


  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark Level 5
  • Newcomer/Canadian Citizen/Refugee Claimant/Permanent Resident


It is mandatory that the client attend ALL classes within the 11 – week program.

Note: If the client is sick, a proof of doctor’s note is required. In any other case, the client must have documents to prove why he/she could not attend the class.

It is mandatory that the client is available to attend class hours between 10:00am to 1:00pm.

Note: 1:00pm - 4:00pm – one-on-one appointments based on clients’ needs.

Clients are responsible to complete class projects and assignments on time.

Note: If the client misses a class he/she will have to catch up with the materials.


The 11 – week, half day Work Exploration and Planning program will address key areas but there will be integration of topics throughout the program with more time spent on some areas than others in accordance with specific group needs. All areas will be addressed and discussed during the in-class sessions. The program is broken into three key components that is highlighted below. In addition, individualized assistance will be provided through the coaching sessions and mutually agreed upon tasks to help bring clients closer to their employment goals.


Team Building, Self Assessments and Addressing Barriers

Through the combination of assessment tools, participants will have a better understanding of themselves and areas that they need to work on to create a better future. They will also be better able to understand other group members and communicate with them more effectively. This awareness will help them to identify their interests, values, competencies, and personalities for further work on their action plans and goal setting. This component will assist participant to develop improved self management skills.


Employability, Essential Skills, and Introduction to Action Planning

As clients work through these topics, they will discover and use resources to address employment barriers, communicate more effectively with each other and program staff, and develop life skills to help them manage their time, lives, finances, and health. They will understand the importance of action planning and be able to identify and work on components of a personal action plan. They will determine their individual levels of language and numeracy skills and be assisted to identify how to improve these skills and how they apply to the labour market and job requirements. Participants will develop a basic knowledge of computer applications and learn to use word processing for basic documents such as letters and resumes. They will be able to use the internet for research and job search purposes and send and receive email.


Labour Market Research and Job Search Skills

In order for the participants to know how to connect their strengths and weaknesses to the world of work, it is important for them to conduct extensive occupational research. This will assist the participants in learning about opportunities that match the nature of their interests. Participants will identify suitable employment opportunities, consider alternative work options, and determine their employment goals. The final action plan will consolidate participants learning and skills acquired from the program. It will identify steps taken to date, results, and future activities required in order to achieve their employment objectives.


As part of the measurable success of the project and for individual accountability, each participant will complete a final action plan before program completion. Through individual consultations as well as the group workshops, each participant will review and modify their plan including alternative actions should initial plans fail.


Support is offered for 4 months after the program is completed. Every client will have a vision and a plan put in place before they graduate from our program. Our goal is to help client’s achieve their goal and maintaining their path towards the goal. The follow-ups are booked as an appointment through phone calls or email to get more individual support and guidance.


Ontario Works caseworkers directly refer clients to the program in accordance with the clients’ participation agreements and assessments of needs/issues. There will be a screening process where clients would complete a basic application form, and an in-person interview. Once the caseworker has referred the client, it is the client’s responsibility to contact the agency to book an appointment for the screening process.

Drop-in clients welcomed after 1:00 pm and will be given information about the program and referred back to their caseworker for approval. Referred clients should call to book an appointment. Where possible, a group orientation will be scheduled, however this can be done on an individual basis as needed.  Clients should call in advance. Dates of group orientation sessions are to be determined

To schedule an orientation/interview, caseworkers and clients may call, 416-444-8744, ext. 5315 OR email Wendolyne Vazquez

Contact Us

Don Mills Employment Services Centre

1090 Don Mills Road, Suite 406
Toronto, ON M3C 3R6
Phone: (416)444-8744
Fax: (416)444-8007

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Region of Peel
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Employment Ontario
Toronto Employment & Social Services
Service Canada
Government of Saskatchewan
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Region of Peel
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Employment Ontario
Toronto Employment & Social Services
Service Canada
Government of Saskatchewan