Helping women escape violence

Ontario program to provide skills training to victims of domestic abuse

A new $4-million training program will help vulnerable women in Ontario develop new skills, find employment and achieve economic independence, according to the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues Sandra Pupatello.

Ten organizations across the province will receive funding over the next two years through the Employment Training Pilot Program to administer and deliver programs offering skills training, education, support and counselling.

Each program consists of a three-way partnership between a violence-against-women group, a training organization and an employer.

"Women who have made the difficult decision to leave an abusive situation have told me that one of their biggest concerns — after their personal safety and the safety of their children — is being able to provide for themselves and their families," said Pupatello.

George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto is delivering one of the programs, a residential air conditioning systems mechanic training program being offered in partnership with Direct Energy Essential Home Services and Nellie's Shelter.

"A good education is an essential factor in helping women become economically independent, and the Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic program is an ideal fit because the skilled trades offer well-paying jobs and flexible employment prospects," said Anne Sado, president of George Brown College Applied Arts and Technology.

"Women in this program also will benefit from a learning environment sensitive to their needs as they recover from abuse."

The pilot training program is part of the government's comprehensive, $68-million Domestic Violence Action Plan, introduced in December 2004.

"The Domestic Violence Employment Training Pilot Program gives women the opportunity to find sustainable employment and achieve economic security which are important steps for their future and the future of their families," said Pupatello.

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