The Bridges Employment Program's fundamental goal is to help women break the cycle of abuse and trauma through healing, education and employment training. Our Victoria, Westshore and Sooke campuses guide women in identifying their interests, strengths and skills to develop for long-term career goals.

The employment groups help participants end isolation, learn & support each other in a classroom setting, while building their own personal & community supports. Programs are flexible and accessible - for example, if a woman has family responsibilities and health care issues, our continuous intake process helps her to find the information and support she requires for “her unique situation”.

The Bridging Curriculum has six main categories:

Addressing Trauma

Recognize, understand and overcome the impacts of abuse, violence and trauma on learning and employment. Grow your self-esteem, values and self-advocacy, communication, assertiveness, conflict resolution skills, and learn to set and keep boundaries.

Individual Study

Develop your individual short-term goals and action steps that support your immediate and long-term work towards personal and economic independence. Students have the opportunity to focus their energies on these plans, and achieve concrete, measurable successes that support their pre-employment process at Bridges.

Career Exploration

Learn to assess your skills, strengths, previous experiences, preferences, learning styles and passions, including the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, development of resume building blocks, job search skills and cover letters. You will build upon your creative visioning projects to develop a long-term, sustainable career vision that promotes successful, permanent labour force attachment.

Counselling

Receive up to 10 hours of professional group and individual counselling, as an integral part of your personal development. Counselling will help increase your safety and connection to community resources, increase skills on how to break out of the cycle of trauma and addictions, honour old ways of coping and learn how to reframe the effects of trauma in order to reconstruct a long standing identity of courage and intelligence.

Workplace Skills

Practice teamwork, interpersonal skills, building good oral communication skills, presentation skills and small team project work throughout the program.

Academic Upgrading

Enroll in Camosun College academic credit for English, Math and Computer Skills upgrading at the Bridges' Victoria campus. All skills and education levels are supported into classrooms. Participants who have never used a computer are welcome, as are those with more advanced skills.