March 23 was an exciting day for Khaled Alzayed, as he and his nine classmates celebrated their completion of The Centre's Home Renovation for Newcomers program.
Khaled, an immigrant to Canada from Syria in May of 2017, was part of the first group of students to take part in the 10-week program.
Created through a partnership between the Skilled Trades and ESL & Immigrant Services Departments at The Centre and funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Home Renovation for Newcomers focuses on providing hands-on shop floor training and enhanced language training in the area of home renovation to a group of 10 newcomer participants.
Just 10 weeks prior, Khaled was excited about the opportunities this program would provide for him, but was unsure if he would be able to succeed.
"At the beginning, I saw another class that was almost done building a house, and I asked my instructor if I could do this," says Khaled. "He said I will be able to answer that question for myself by the end of this program."
Through the duration of Home Renovation for Newcomers, students learn enhanced language training in the area of home renovation, hands-on shop floor training, First Aid and Construction Safety training, the Ontario Building Code, as well as how to use hand & power tools when completing the drywall, doors & windows, flooring, decks & stairs, framing and interior finishes.
Speaking to his classmates, Khaled shares in their excitement that today is their last day as trainees, and come Monday they will be ready to work.
"Now that I have finished, I can answer my own question with confidence," says Khaled. "Can I build a house like the one I saw the first day? Of course I can."