Opportunities for Employment (OFE) is a private organization made up of a team of professionals who specialize in providing free employment services to help individuals find meaningful employment. OFE is centrally located in downtown Winnipeg, beside the BELL MTS Place on Portage Avenue.
Over 20,000 OFE job seekers have found employment since the organization was founded in 1996. OFE continues to grow and diversify to meet the changing needs of the Winnipeg labour market and the demographics of Winnipeg job seekers.
As a leader in research and innovation in the employment development field, OFE continues to pioneer entrepreneurial and incentive based approaches to employment services, resulting in increased employment rates, growth and productivity in our local economy, reduced reliance on social supports and lower costs to the Manitoba government
OFE offers a range of program options including the Canadian Workplace Culture module series, which is designed for people who have come to Canada as Refugees or as another type of Newcomer. The series introduces participants to the Canadian workplace in the context of business culture, employer expectations, communication and organizational behavior.
Using a client-centered approach, each job seeker has an individualized plan and access to program options designed to address gaps, increase skill and expand earning capacity. Skill development options include computer training in Microsoft Office, CPR and First Aid, Non-Violent Conflict Resolution, Lift Truck theory, WHMIS and the Smart Choices Serving Certificate.
We are currently participating in the Refugee Employment Development Initiative (REDI) to prepare individuals with refugee status, and a CLB of three or under, for employment in the manufacturing sector. The program provides the supports necessary to help our refugee population achieve success through full time employment while simultaneously helping address labour shortages experienced by Manitoba employers.
Our goal is to equip individuals to become successful candidates who will engage in the process of employer-hosted technical training, onboarding as employees of the company and reaching productivity goals. Participants take part in an assessment to determine individual aptitudes, interests, job goals and training needs. The assessment process is an integral component of service delivery to ensure the alignment of appropriate and meaningful training, mentorship and support.
Individuals in OFE’s REDI project is provided with job specific language training (English for Work), as well as programming designed to address skills gaps (Occupational Specific Essential Skills), increase employability and foster job retention attitudes and practices. Participants also take part in workplace tours and work experience prior to direct placement into full-time employment with a local manufacturer.
To participate in REDI, OFE adapted its Employer Partnership Program model in response to the unique needs of individuals, with refugee status and low language levels, who have a desire to work in the manufacturing sector. The model also provides employers with new recruitment strategies, training solutions and human resource management practices to fill vacancies and retain productive employees in the Winnipeg labour market.