Training and other Learning Opportunities at Winnipeg Harvest
Winnipeg Harvest offers a variety of training programs; including:
- Forklift Certification
- Food Handling Certification in conjunction with the City of Winnipeg
- Computer courses in conjunction with the Winnipeg P.C. Users Group
- Urban Gardening
- One on One Interview rehearsal.
But every day at Winnipeg Harvest is open to a wealth of learning opportunities! These can range from a planned lunch and learn session on knowing your welfare rights to the opportunity to learn about a new culture as you work alongside another volunteer.
To take advantage of the training programs offered at Winnipeg Harvest you must be an active volunteer – committing at least six hours per month.
Winnipeg Harvest Mentorship and Apprentice Programs (MAP)
Knowledge and Education are the key tools which move people to an improved quality of life. This improvement can be in life skills, providing such things as better nutrition, increased self confidence or a more positive outlook on life. This improvement can also be in job skills, providing the start of or the increase to a sustainable economic base. The Mentorship and Apprentice Program at Winnipeg Harvest is designed to provide this opportunity for improvement to all of our team.
For each individual at Winnipeg Harvest, paid or non-paid, casual or full time there is a learning journey. This journey is represented by the individual learning portfolios being developed for and by team members.
Each journey has two paths; these paths can be parallel or interwoven. These can be defined as life skills – the things which enhance our day to day lives and job skills – the ability to enhance our employability and in turn our economic status. By establishing our mentorship and apprenticeship programs we strive to provide the step up and out of poverty our team members’ desire.
Mentoring is about one person helping another to achieve something. More importantly the achievement of something that is important to them. It is about giving support and help in a non-threatening way, in a manner that will be appreciated and valued and that will enable them to move on with confidence towards what they would like to achieve.
Today at Winnipeg Harvest we have initiated a mentoring program within the Housekeeping area. Two individuals interested, long term, in finding employment in the housekeeping or cleaning areas are being mentored by a strong leader. The focus of the mentorship has been on achieving industry standards in all that is completed within Housekeeping. As these individuals mature under mentorship they will begin to develop the job skills required to apply for and secure permanent employment.
We look forward to a variety of mentorship programs in the teaching kitchen. Many local chefs have contacted Winnipeg Harvest with proposals for these programs. Currently team members who prepare breakfast, lunch and snacks are being mentored by both the Agency Coordinators and Volunteer Coordinators on healthy foods available to them.
Apprenticeship in the historical sense is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade, in exchange for their continuing labour for an agreed period after they become skilled. Winnipeg Harvest has put a more modern view on apprenticeship, in that the practitioner of the skill would move from Winnipeg Harvest into the economic arena.
The initial start of the apprenticeship program can be seen in the offering of the Safe Food Handling Certification course. By completing this course the certificate holder can now apply to and be hired by a food serving establishment. First, however, they have every opportunity to put this knowledge to use and to practice the rules of safe food handling by being part of the Winnipeg Harvest Team. To date over 150 Harvest Team members have completed or are set to complete their certification.
New volunteers have been initiated into the reception area where they are learning valuable job skills on the computer, the telephone and in customer service. With the installation of the new phone system in referrals, apprentice positions for telephone interviewing and call center supervisors will become available.
The MAP program at Winnipeg Harvest will continue to grow and mature with time. But it is important to note that the journey of these thousand steps has begun with these few.