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My Home, My Native Land

This program was designed to enhance the workplace Essential Skills of a unique group of learners while working on a novel, socially connected and cutting-edge project.

Our learners focused on digital storytelling and the making of a video document using new media and computer-based technologies such as photo manipulation, video editing, motion graphics and web page development – as well as traditional means of visual communication such as basic design, typography usage, painting, drawing and printmaking.

 

My Home, My Native Land was conceived as a means to enhance the workplace Essential Skills levels of a unique group of students while working on a novel, socially connected and cutting-edge project. The project focused on the making of a video document using new media and computer-based technologies such as photo manipulation, video editing, motion graphics and web page development – as well as traditional means of visual communication such as basic design, typography usage, painting, drawing and printmaking.

The student cohort consisted of adult individuals who had emigrated from other countries or had re-located to Winnipeg from northern reserves, and/or small towns – and were in need of workplace skills, (as in the 9 Essential Skills), in order to secure employment. The program consisted of a 16 week semester: 5 days a week 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM – the first part of which was dedicated to training and formal instruction, with the last 9 weeks charted and timetabled as a project production phase with daily, weekly and monthly timesheet reporting.

On the surface, the project asked the students to visually represent their experiences and personal stories as they moved from their birthplaces to their new lives in the city of Winnipeg. However, as they went about gathering the skills necessary to complete their projects, it was necessary to organize and plan them; to solve visual and procedural problems; communicate with the instructors and each other both verbally and in writing; to work individually as well as cooperate in small groups – and finally, to engage in computer use with such activities as the manipulation of various pieces of software, email, and the development and publishing of a simple web page to display their finished projects. The employment skills gained were based on the Government of Canada’s Essential Skills Programme and as such are highly prized by employers.

The 9 Essential Skills focused upon include:

  • Communication
  • Thinking skills: problem-solving, decision making, job task planning and organizing, creative and alternate thinking
  • Working with Others
  • Writing
  • Document Use
  • Computer Use
  • Numeracy
  • Reading
  • Continous Learning

Some of the current visual communication skills that were developed included:

  • Basic design
  • Illustration techniques
  • Photo manipulation
  • Basic web design
  • Video editing
  • Web video techniques

Workplace Education Manitoba (WEM) was established in 1991 to build workplace Essential Skills awareness, application and enhanced HR functioning, as well as develop Essential Skills projects and practitioner training in Manitoba. WEM responds to organizations’ and employers’ requests for workplace Essential Skills support, offering a full range of assessment and training in the nine workplace Essential Skills. WEM also performs original research and develops business human resource solutions. WEM offers workplace Essential Skills assessments, develops and delivers Essential Skills training solutions and provides Essential Skills expertise for business, labour and practitioners.

Employment Manitoba, Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade provides employment counseling including EI eligibility for Manitoba citizens through its 16 employment centers. In addition, Employment Manitoba creates employer partnerships to facilitate the hiring of employees.

The Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils (AMSC) is a diverse group of 16 industry sector associations. Their goals are to encourage cooperation between sectors, to strengthen the skills of the Manitoba workforce, and to promote productivity and economic development through innovative collaborative projects.

New Media Manitoba (NMM) is a sector council representing employers within the new media sector and focused on training and the improvement of human resource practice. NMM is a partner with other sector councils and WEM at the 1000 Waverly training centre where the majority of classes were held.

 

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