More than 50 Aboriginal workers will train for careers as heavy equipment operators through a Community and Employer Partnership between the B.C. government and the Southern Interior Construction Association, worth nearly $1.4 million.
In three different sessions of 18 people, the trainees will get 8.75 weeks of occupational and employability classroom training in road building and heavy construction and 4.25 weeks of hands-on training as operators of bulldozers, excavators, front-end loaders and backhoes to prepare for work in the construction industry.
The workers will also get eight weeks of followup support to help them find work as heavy equipment operators in the north and central Okanagan. The project will last one year and is scheduled to finish in March 2016.
Participating First Nations include the Splatsin First Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation, which will hold the training sessions on their respective lands. The first intake of trainees began with the Splatsin First Nation in the Enderby area on May 4. The second intake starts in August in the Vernon area with the Okanagan Indian Band and the third intake is in November with the Westbank First Nation in the West Kelowna area.
Project-Based Labour Market Training helps groups of people with on- or off-the-job employment training and is a component of Community and Employer Partnerships, which were introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.
To date, more than 560 job seekers have benefited from work experience and nearly 140 projects have been funded throughout the province.
By 2022, B.C. is expecting one million job openings with more than two-thirds driven by retirements in an aging population. One year ago, government created the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint to ensure more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs in B.C.'s diverse, strong and growing economy.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need - when and where they need them.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna ─
“Building the future starts with finding a dependable, rewarding job. That’s why we launched the Skills for Jobs Blueprint - to connect people with the in-demand training they need, in the regions that need workers with a particular skillset.”
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation ─
“Community and Employer Partnerships provide practical, hands-on training opportunities for people who are looking for work. This project with the Southern Interior Construction Association is another great example of how our government is meeting the need for in-demand jobs. Fifty people will get the skills they need to find a good job in the construction industry.”
Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan and MLA for Shuswap ─
“This program will give trainees the necessary career-building skills to earn great jobs in the construction trades. These partnerships are invaluable for finding and training the next generation of workers for these in-demand jobs.”
Eric Foster, MLA for Vernon-Monashee ─
“When we get people trained for jobs that are needed in our communities, such as Vernon-Monashee, everybody wins. Our communities benefit from construction jobs and these trainees will help to fill those needed positions.”
Bill Everitt, chief operating officer, Southern Interior Construction Association ─
“This funding covers three intakes of our heavy equipment operators program and provides an opportunity to engage a segment of our population that often faces employment challenges as well as meet the future skilled trades needs.”
Patrick Thomas, project trainee, Neskonlith Indian Band ─
“One of the reasons I chose to do this course was to do a career change. I have always had an interest in heavy equipment and I am honoured and pleased to be part of something that is positive and exciting. The class of 2015 is going to be awesome and we are all going to be great operators. The teaching that we are receiving is easy to learn from and to understand, so this makes learning enjoyable. The group of women and men that we have in this class is a great group to learn from and work with. I cannot wait to see all of us become operators.”https://www.facebook.com/BCJobsPlan/posts/10153105871003241:0
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible?
- Non-profit organizations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
For more information on the Southern Interior Construction Association: www.sica.bc.ca
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation