A new course that offers participants a glimpse into opportunities in the water and wastewater industry now is flowing under a partnership between the B.C. government and the BC Water & Waste Association (BCWWA).
Under the Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA), government is investing more than $454,000 for the Introduction to Water and Wastewater Training program, which will provide up to 32 participants with a foundational knowledge of the industry and the many opportunities for employment within it. The six-week course will cover a range of topics, including:
- Introduction to water and wastewater systems.
- Supervisory skills.
- Safety in the workplace.
- Chlorine handling.
- Occupational First Aid 1.
- Preventing waterborne illnesses.
Course participants will spend four weeks in the classroom learning about the industry and gaining basic skills in technical operations. Once the classroom component is complete, participants will gain hands-on experience through job shadowing in the field for two weeks. By the end of the six-week introductory course, BCWWA hopes participants will be excited about pursuing a career in the water and wastewater industry.
Possible opportunities in this field include positions for operators who maintain and operate water or wastewater treatment facilities, outside workers who maintain the distribution systems, or positions requiring a background in science or technology, such as monitoring water quality. The course will run in two cohorts - one at Douglas College in New Westminster starting Feb. 25, and one in Kelowna at Okanagan College starting May 6.
BC Water & Waste Association is a not-for-profit association whose mandate is to safeguard public health and the environment by providing education and training and being a voice for the water sector. BCWWA's 4,700 members ensure the delivery of clean and safe water to B.C. homes and businesses, and help protect the environment through the treatment and management of wastewater. Members include operators, engineers, policy makers, municipal, utility and government employees at all levels, as well as educators and consultants.
The LMA will cover the costs of tuition and supplies for eligible participants, including employed and low-skilled individuals, or those who are unemployed and not eligible for employment insurance. For those who qualify, transportation costs may also be available.
Under the BC Jobs Plan and BC Skills and Training Plan, government is actively creating awareness and encouraging people to consider careers in the trades and technical occupations through an investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"Government is committed to ensuring that British Columbians are first in line for jobs here in B.C. That's why we're providing funding to industry leaders like the BC Water and Waste Association to develop courses that will give people the skills they need to take full advantage of the many opportunities across the province."
Minister of Environment Terry Lake -
"The BC Water and Wastewater Association's member organizations are responsible for ensuring that British Columbians have safe and healthy drinking water and that the environment is protected in the process. Through government's new partnership with the BCWWA, course participants will learn about the industry and how they can seize opportunities within it."
BC Water and Waste Association CEO Daisy Foster -
"BCWWA's new Introduction to Water and Wastewater Training program will create awareness for participants about the water sector and the many opportunities for careers in this area. We hope that they will be excited about all the opportunities in this field and will continue to pursue a career in water and wastewater management."
- The Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funds programs and services for employed people who are low-skilled and for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
- As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada.
- The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014, and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.
- During the month of November, the B.C. government asked for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. See what government is doing to put ideas into action: www.bcjobsplan.ca/ideas-to-actions/
BC Water and Waste Association: www.bcwwa.org/
Courses offered by BCWWA: www.bcwwa.org/operator-training/course-descriptions.html
WorkBC skills training programs: www.workbc.ca/Education-Training/Programs/Pages/Employment-Programs.aspx
Industry Training Authority: www.itabc.ca
Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement information: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement/
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/
BC Skills and Training Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills/
Ideas2Actions - results of the Skills4BC online discussion: www.bcjobsplan.ca/ideas-to-actions/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
BC Water and Waste Association
604 630-5348 or 604 433-4389