PIP News – April 2019

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A recap of the Economic Integration projects facilitated by the Peterborough Immigration Partnership from April 2018 to March 2019

From April 2018 to March 2019, training programs were delivered to help build skills of newcomers in the food services and sewing sector. These programs were funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and implemented through the Peterborough Immigration Partnership.

The program focused on enhancing the settlement and employment supports available to vulnerable newcomers to facilitate their social and economic integration. The skills training piece was delivered in English, with interpretation provided where necessary, and with a focus on occupation-specific language training. Participants were encouraged to practice using the new technical terms that they acquired weekly, and to speak and communicate with one another in English. Where needed, child-minding was provided on-site, and public transportation costs were covered.

These programs support the recommendations by recent research for developing training for newcomers that combine occupation-specific ESL with other vocational or business skills training. They also encourage newcomers to expand their existing social networks and develop new professional ones.

Youth Culinary Skills Training

Over 32 hours of kitchen and cooking training was delivered to newcomer youth at Peterborough Public Health’s Myrtle’s Kitchen by the Nourish Project. The goal was for the participating youth to develop the skills and discipline necessary for gaining employment in the food services industry. Training also included developing resumes and conducting mock interviews, in addition to sessions on workplace rights and healthy boundaries at the workplace; food handlers certification; and life coaching.

Seven youth completed the training – many of them have since received part-time employment.

Business-Integrated Learning

Over 32 hours of training were delivered to Newcomer Kitchen Peterborough in collaboration with the Nourish Project. The goal was to equip the participating newcomer women with the knowledge and understanding of the basics for starting a small food business. Training topics included: recipe and yield testing and scaling; pricing and budgeting; wholesale purchasing; and receiving and delivering catering orders. Five women completed the training.

Newcomer Kitchen Peterborough is now continuing their training on-site at the Peterborough Regional Farmers Market. They are expanding their network by being immersed as a food vendor in a market setting and can be seen every Saturday serving their customers with their best-selling recipes.

Sewing and Alterations Series

Thirteen newcomer women received sewing skills training over the course of two workshop series. Each series consisted of 32 hours of training, delivered at the NCC, where the women learned how to use sewing machines and practised cutting patterns for making simple items, such as pot holders, cushion covers, headbands, aprons and more. An additional group of 5 women joined the alterations and repairs workshop series to learn the basics of altering and repairing clothes, and develop creative ways for upcycling old clothes into new items. Some participants also received further training on how to screen-print on different fabrics, in collaboration with Madderhouse Textiles Studio. These skills will help support some of the participants in gaining employment with local artists and makers.

Food-Related ESL Learning

Over 32 hours of food-related ESL learning was delivered to newcomers in collaboration with Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education. The goal was to integrate food-related learning into ongoing ESL classes to provide the students with occupation-specific language training. Additionally, several trainers and guest speakers were invited to present on related topics, such as: emergency first aid; understanding the 2019 Canada Food Guide; grocery shopping and food preparation for large gatherings; and workers’ rights and employment standards.


Established in 2008, the Peterborough Immigration Partnership (PIP) is a community-based partnership of individuals & organisations (including the NCC) which envisions a community where the meaningful economic, social and cultural integration of newcomers ensures a prosperous and inclusive community for all.

Please contact us for more information and to become involved in this partnership.

View the Minutes from our March 2019 Annual Meeting here