From the Factory Floor – One company’s experience with Skilling UP

By Annamaria Rocco, Director, Human Resources, Cosmetica Laboratories Inc.

Cosmetica Laboratories Inc. was a participant in the Skilling UP project and was the employer with the highest percentage of workers born outside Canada, and the highest percentage of workers who had a first language other than English.

 Skilling UP training was held at Cosmetica Laboratories in Scarborough, Ontario, from June to August 2016 and July to October 2017. Our employees received 30 hours of training during these times.

The Skilling UP training was a very positive experience for Cosmetica and the overwhelming majority of the participants. Because the model included interviews and focus groups with all levels of our staff, and a comprehensive analysis of our company’s existing documents, report templates, training manuals and operating procedures, the curriculum developers were able to customize training to the needs of our employees. In my view, these components increased the effectiveness and the positive outcomes of the training. In addition, the model included pre- and post- assessments of our employees, which allowed for a concrete measure of their skill improvement, which gave Cosmetica real proof of the advantages of the Skilling UP program.

It was also beneficial that, as part of the model, the Skilling UP trainers engaged with our supervisors, to talk with them about challenges they had with teamwork and communication on the factory floor, and to explain to them the objectives of this training, and why and how it would help them do their jobs better. It also allowed supervisors to reinforce the classroom training on the floor. The result of this was an impressive level of engagement from our employees, because they could immediately see how this training would help them do their jobs better.

The final benefit to Cosmetica was the incentive program, which allowed us to earn reimbursement for a portion of the training cost based on how much our employees had learned. Providing an incentive to employers in my view provides added motivation for employers to invest in training dollars for front-line employees.

At Cosmetica we pride ourselves on treating all our employees with respect and providing an environment conducive to our workers’ success and fulfillment. The Skilling UP training was a high quality, expertly customized, and effective program that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

What is Skilling UP?

Skilling UP is an essential skills training model that aligns content to workers essential skills levels and the company’s organizational goals within the company. It was funded by the Government of Canada, through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES). 


To learn more about Skilling UP training and how to get results, please contact:

Cindy Messaros, Executive Director, AWES



Skilling UP is the result of a partnership between the Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) and SkillPlan, DataAngel, the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC). The project was funded by the Government of Canada, through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES).