UFCW Canada Local 500 is building strong relationships with future members by helping to lead a new collaborative effort that involves CFACQ (the Retail and Food Training Centre of Quebec), the City of Montreal, and the Montreal school board. The focus of the collaboration is a successful new program that builds skills of young workers while helping to strengthen the future of Quebec’s food retail industry.
The program is based on a new course developed by CFACQ that provides high school students with a bridge to the workforce and the opportunity to gain skills for one of the fastest-growing segments of the labour market, the service sector and the food retail industry in particular.
At every step of the program students are required to develop practical skills. In fact, admission to the program calls for students to prepare a resumé and go through an interview process. Once accepted, students are offered courses on effective communication, customer-service, time management, and grocery department specific training, which they learn by working three weeks in an actual store. The in-store component of the program is scheduled for non-school hours and has proven to be very successful with many participants offered part-time positions after the completion of their placements.
“A lot of young people don’t realize how interesting the grocery industry can be,” says Local 500 President Antonio Filato. “There are so many departments in a grocery store that offer many job opportunities, and if we want one of our core industries to remain strong we need to find effective ways to attract and retain the workforce and UFCW Canada members of tomorrow.”
Vol. X No. 47 • November 29, 2010