Toronto Community Housing and the Toronto Civic Employees' Union (TCEU) Local 416 have partnered to create an Apprenticeship Cleaning Program.
"We're committed to being part of vibrant neighbourhoods where our tenants are connected to opportunities to succeed," said Keiko Nakamura, CEO of Toronto Community Housing. "Action at the local level, like this apprenticeship program, helps to improve social and economic conditions in the communities where we operate and our tenants live."
"Our union is proud to have initiated this partnership with Toronto Community Housing," said Mark Ferguson, President of TCEU Local 416. "We're also proud of this group of apprentices - our newest members - and the important work they'll be doing in the good jobs this training program has brought to the community."
Following a rigorous assessment and a two-week practicum, 28 apprentices are already putting their new skills to use in Toronto Community Housing buildings. Hundreds of people applied for the positions. Those who were admitted to the apprenticeship program are thankful for the opportunity.
"I've been looking for work, but it's hard to find something these days," said Georgina Binfoh.
Binfoh said the job-specific training was key, but noted the apprenticeship program also gave the apprentices valuable training in health and safety issues.
"We learned a lot - everything from the work we're doing and how to use the equipment to customer service and safety," she said.
The apprentices will receive new training throughout their employment, which will help them broaden their skills and become more employable in the future. This program builds on the success of an earlier, similar apprenticeship that Toronto Community Housing offered with the Carpenters & Allied Workers, Local 27.