Government is providing more than $1 million to Thompson Rivers University-Williams Lake (TRU-WL) for a new Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project that will deliver essential skills training to 300 people in the region to help prepare them for employment.
Funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA), the project will provide First Nations communities and local employers with group literacy and essential-skills level assessments, as well as individual literacy and essential-skills assessments. These assessments will help inform the type of training individuals require, and from there personal training plans will be developed to address the skills gaps that have been identified at both the group and individual levels.
TRU-WL will deliver training that is customized to the needs of the individual. As a result, a broad range of training will be available through this project, including a variety of options to address:
- Literacy - including reading, numeracy, writing and using documents and forms.
- Oral communication.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Thinking skills, including problem-solving.
- Computer skills.
TRU-WL will begin accepting participants for the Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project beginning April 2013. Training will be delivered on location in First Nations communities, at employer worksites, or on campus at TRU-WL depending on the needs of the individual participants. The LMA will cover the costs of tuition and supplies for eligible participants, including employed, low-skilled individuals, or those who are unemployed and not eligible for employment insurance. For those who qualify, transportation supports may also be available.
Now the fourth-largest university in the province, TRU was created in 2005 when the University College of the Cariboo joined with the British Columbia Open University. In addition to its main campus in Kamloops, students can take programs at its campus in Williams Lake, and through regional centres throughout the Interior of B.C. through TRU-Open Learning.
A variety of specialized Aboriginal educational programs and learning centres are offered, in addition to TRU's unique distance-learning opportunities, that enable First Nations students to remain close to their home communities. At TRU-WL, the Open Learning Centre is housed in the Gathering Place and provides First Nations communities in the surrounding area with access to hundreds of Open Learning courses and programs.
The Carrier, Chilcotin and Shuswap Nations traditionally used the pit house as their winter home. This Gathering Place is modelled after similar pit houses and is a space where individuals can meet with Elders, study, or gather for ceremonial or social activities. The Gathering Place also provides other services, including assistance with the transition to university, one-to-one tutoring, academic support and First Nations counselling.
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. In addition to programs and services offered through the LMA, government is actively creating awareness and encouraging people to consider careers in the trades and technical occupations through a further investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment under the Skills and Training Plan. This funding complements $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs under the BC Jobs Plan.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"Government is committed to ensuring that British Columbia has a skilled workforce that is ready for the many opportunities coming our way here in B.C. That's why we're providing funding for skills training programs across the province to help people take full advantage of the jobs in their communities."
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Ida Chong -
"Thompson Rivers University has a history of providing specialized programs for Aboriginal peoples, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project is building on that legacy. The skills and training that participants gain through this project will serve them well in their future endeavours, whether they are entering the workforce for the first time, or are re-entering it after being unemployed or raising a family."
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett -
"The Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project will help people in Williams Lake and surrounding communities get the essential skills they need in order to be successful in the workplace. TRU identified a need for additional supports for individuals, First Nations communities and employers in the region, and this project will help ensure that local businesses and industries have local workers with the right skills to do their jobs."
Alan Shaver, TRU president and vice-chancellor -
"The ministry's commitment towards much-needed essential skills training is very much appreciated. Thompson Rivers University has a long history in the Cariboo Chilcotin region of preparing youth and adult learners for career success in British Columbia. This investment will help ensure people learn what they need to improve their lives through employment and will help meet the demands of industry."
Dr. Ray Sanders, TRU executive director Community U and director of Williams Lake campus -
"TRU is extremely pleased to receive this funding dedicated to customized training in the Cariboo Chilcotin region and in a number of our First Nations communities. This project will, indeed, provide the knowledge and skills necessary for individuals to be successful in establishing a meaningful career and a promising future."
- Thompson Rivers University-Williams Lake is a full-service campus for the community of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin region.
- TRU-WL is a trusted leader in collaborative, interdisciplinary and community focused research and teaching.
- TRU-WL has been a community partner for more than 40 years and is expert at providing essential skills and literacy development and delivery.
- 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.
- 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/
Thompson Rivers University - Williams Lake: www.tru.ca/williamslake.html
TRU Aboriginal Gathering Place Cplul'kw'ten:www.tru.ca/aero/students/gath_place/gathering_place_wl.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
Department of Research Innovation and Graduate Studies
Thompson Rivers University-Williams Lake