Skills Connection



Who we are

What we offer



One-on-one career counselling
We provide formal and informal assessment tests on issues such as work values and interests and give guidance on using and interpreting personality tests. Our employment counsellor also explores with you the reality of working in different occupations, including wages, working conditions, education, etc. We also provide guidance on informal career exploration, with or without the help of resources such as the books Do What You Are or Work With Passion

One-on-one employment counselling
We help clients write resumes and cover letters, sharpen their job search skills, and prepare them for interviews.  We encourage people to network and do information interviews. Our employment counsellor also assists with finding ways to meet challenges such as poverty, drug and alcohol issues, mental health issues and other factors that stand in the way of finding and keeping meaningful employment.

Job board
We post new jobs from the job bank on a daily basis.

Internet for job search
We provide information on job postings on the internet, e.g. Job Bank, careerclick, VanNet Classifieds, B.C. Public Service site. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet for job search and point clients to useful informational sites on job search topics, such as BC WorkInfoNet, Monster Board,, Vancouver Community Net Career Information and Employment Services.

Computer skills training
We encourage clients to drop-in and tell us what they want to know about basic computer skills. We can customize a learning program at the center, or our employment counsellor can assist in finding other suitable programs.

Job search related computer and fax use
If you are looking for a job and need the use of a computer and a fax machine, come on over. We currently have seven computers available for the use of our clients.

Daily newspapers in Chinese and English
We get the two major papers – and there's always lots of hot coffee or tea to help you browse the want ads.

Information on educational upgrading
In order to find satisfying work, some clients need to upgrade their schooling. We point clients to useful resources, from literacy to Grade 12 or GED to post-secondary education. We also often assist people to find resources that address learning disabilites (if you follow this link, go to “Public Menu”, "Agency Search" and look for disabilities)

Referral to government sponsored training
We assist clients to find training such as the following: 

  • HRDC-sponsored training for eligible clients who are on Employment Insurance or have been on Employment Insurance in the last 3 or 5 years. When eligible clients face problems finding a new job because of lack of skills, HRDC can pay for some types of training for up to a year. Where necessary, we guide clients through the application process and support them during and after training.

  • Training paid for by the Ministry of Social Services

  • Other training, including training for specific groups, such as  people of the First Nations.

Referral to volunteer experience
Volunteer experience can provide structure, training and work experience – and it feels good to share our resources, skills and knowledge with others. We assist clients in sorting through the many volunteer jobs and find just the right one.

Information on self-employment
We direct clients to appropriate sources for self-employment issues and help them explore whether self-employment is a workable option. If you are interested in finding out how to write a proposal, click here.

Personalized assistance
Wherever necessary, we give personal hands-on attention to our clients.  Our client support centre staff helps with things like hands-on support in carrying out return to work action plans, correcting and critiquing resumes and cover letters, on-the-spot peer counselling for those times when following our goals seems too hard, etc.

The SOAT Team
The Skills Outreach Access Team is a pilot project funded by the United Way.  We recognize that a lot of our clients face many challenges – from poverty to disability to racism, etc.  These challenges sometimes prevent people from making the most of available resources.  In this project, clients will work with a team of peers and staff to decrease barriers to successfully accessing and using employment and education resources. Using a hands-on approach, the team helps build connections with resources and confidence in using them, and teaches self-advocacy skills. In the spirit of grassroots community development, the peer workers hired for this are people from the community who are facing the same challenges but are already on their way to successfully overcoming them.

The Strategic Volunteering Project
Strategic Volunteering was a participatory action research project funded by the Ministry of Co-operatives, Community Development and Volunteering. We found out what volunteering in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is like, both for volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators (the research part). We then looked at some of the challenges that have been identified, thought about solutions, and tried some of them out (the action part). This project was participatory in that the majority of the planning and action was carried out by the people affected - namely volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators. For a full report, click here.

The Downtown Eastside Web
The Skills Connection is part of the Downtown Eastside Web (DEW) which brings Internet access to the Downtown Eastside community. Access to technology in the Downtown Eastside - taken for granted in many communities - has been identified as a major hurdle for residents. There is a need for accurate health information, job search capabilities, e-mail access, and all of the other benefits that the Internet brings. Community building, education and information-sharing are also key goals of DEW.

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