West Employment Services and Training (WEST) program has provided free services to help job seekers find work and local employers hire qualified workers since 1998.
COVID-19 update: Our office is temporarily closed to the public due to the pandemic. All services are now being offered by telephone, electronically and virtually. Call 416-848-7980 ext. 301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to access assistance safely right from home.
WEST offers the following services:
1. Employment Service
Sending out resumes but getting no response? Attending interviews but never landing the jobs? Ready to make a career change but unsure of what you want to do? Our flexible and individually tailored employment services provide job seekers with the help they need to move their job search forward at every stage of their career!
- Up to 20 weeks of support to keep you motivated and focused in your job search.
- Career planning assistance to help you make informed and realistic career decisions.
- Résumé and cover letter enhancement to increase employer response rate.
- Training on leading job search strategies to help you get the best results in your job search!
- One-to-one interview coaching to build your confidence and skills in self-marketing to pass in person and virtual interviews.
- Job leads and placement support to increase your access to employment opportunities.
- Job coaching to promote your professional development and growth.
- Resources and referrals to skills training to better align your skills with employer requirements and labour market demands.
- Apprenticeship scholarships of up to $1000 to support apprentices in completing academic upgrading to meet the requirements of a chosen trade.
- Financial assistance for personal supports to enable low-income participants to actively engage in job search activities and successfully transition to work. This may include financial assistance for transportation, interview clothing, grooming, work attire/equipment, emergency childcare, language/academic credential assessment, short-term training or workplace accommodation needs for persons with disabilities.
2. Second Career (SC)
Have you been laid-off or have you left your job due to medical reasons? Do you require financial support for skills training? You can get new skills – those needed for jobs in demand now – and financial support (up to $28,000 for costs) if you qualify for Second Career. Training programs must be completed in 52 weeks or less and may include micro-credential programs.
*Note: Fast-track approval is presently being given to applications for people who were laid off due to COVID-19.
- Information about SC, the application process, labour market considerations, and career and educational opportunities
- Quality eligibility screening and suitability assessment for participation in SC
- Assistance with completing and submitting the SC application
To learn more, register for our weekly Second Career Information Session!
3. Resource & Information (RI) Service
Are you a self-directed individual who just requires information, resources, and tools to move your career planning or job search forward independently? Self-serve resources and information are available in print, online, on-site and through short workshops to help you achieve your goals!
- Access to standard office equipment (computers, internet, fax, scanner, printers, and telephone)
- Information on job search strategies, career assessment tools, local labour market news, training, education and apprenticeship programs
- Workshops, service orientation sessions and hiring events
- Second Career screening and application preparation support
- Information and referrals to community programs, services, and resources
Click here to view our monthly events calendar.
4. Services for Employers
Our goal is to take the stress out of the recruitment process and make hiring easier, faster, and less costly for you.
Services for employers include:
- Candidate sourcing and recruitment for entry-level and career track roles, eliminating the cost of advertising.
- Candidate pre-screening, reducing time spent reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates that don’t meet your requirements.
- On-site/virtual hiring events to attract larger talent pools, making hiring faster, easier, and more efficient.
- Job placement incentives to offset the cost of initial job orientation and training, as well as loss in productivity associated with new employee onboarding.
- Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus (AESB) of up to $2,000 as an incentive for hiring, registering, and training a WEST participant as an apprentice.
- Workplace and on-the-job training plans to contribute to successful onboarding and job orientation.
- Ongoing support in identifying and resolving placement/workplace issues to advance employee performance and job retention.
Who is eligible:
Employment services are available to individuals who:
- Have permanent status in Canada (Canadian citizens, permanent residents, convention refugees or protected persons
- Are unemployed or under-employed (working less than an average of 20 hours per week)
- Are not enrolled in full-time education or training
Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed weekends and public holidays.
Services are delivered by appointment or registration only. To learn about upcoming program events, check out our monthly calendar.
How to register:
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you ensure participants get the help they need?
Our team of Employment Specialists and Job Developers are dedicated to understanding the unique needs of participants. Individual’s interests, needs, and goals are discovered at the onset through an initial employment needs assessment.
A responsive service plan is created for each participant outlining the service components and interventions needed/desired to advance their goals. Service planning is a continuous process throughout one’s participation and individual service plans are updated/amended as service needs change and evolve over time.
Service coordination and referral service is another way we ensure participant needs are met. We regularly draw upon the expertise of our community partners and connect participants with services outside of our scope of work that will benefit them.
How does WEST compare with other Employment Ontario service providers?
Our service delivery model keeps participants at the center, with regular meetings, ongoing support, and follow-up keeping participants supported every step of the way. Maintaining a strong human connection with each participant is important to us! That is why most, if not all services are delivered on a one-to-one basis.
I am a jobseeker. How soon can I start receiving employment service?
We offer continuous intake, which means new participants can start at any time. Individuals can usually secure an intake appointment to register for employment service within 1-2 weeks from the date of initial contact.
Do you have a physical location?
Yes, our office is located at 1033 King Street W. at the intersections of King and Shaw in the downtown west-end of Toronto. Our location is wheelchair accessible and is a scent-free environment. (Note: Our centre is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
How is WEST funded?
We are an Employment Ontario service provider funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
I am an employer. Am I eligible for job placement and hiring incentives?
To access job placement and hiring incentives, employers must:
- be licensed to operate in Ontario
- comply with all applicable federal/provincial legislation, including human rights legislation, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Employment Standards Act, and the freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation
- provide employment in Ontario
- demonstrate the ability to provide good training and adequate supervision
- maintain appropriate WSIB or alternate workplace safety insurance coverage and have adequate third-party general liability insurance as advised by insurance broker
I am an employer who is hiring. What financial incentive can you provide if I hire a WEST participant?
The amount of incentive will be based on the candidate/trainee’s background, complexity of job skill level and length of training required. Incentive levels are not related to the cost of the participant’s wages.
An assessment tool is used to determine the level of incentive we can provide for a WEST participant who is hired.
The maximum incentive that can be issued for a job placement with a WEST participant is $6,000. However, not all employers who receive incentives will receive the maximum amount.
I am an employer interested in hiring an apprentice. How does the Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus (AESB) work?
The Apprenticeship Employer Signing Bonus (AESB) is available to employers who hire, register, and train a WEST participant as an apprentice.
A maximum of $2000 can be awarded to eligible employers. Signing bonuses are issued in two payments: an initial $1,000 payment when a WEST participant’s apprenticeship training agreement is signed/registered with the Ministry and a final $1,000 payment six months from the apprenticeship signing/registration date.
Are you a newcomer to Canada? Our Newcomer Settlement Program can provide additional employment help, as well as other support. Learn more at westnh.org/settlement.