A program that helped 29 of its 36 participants find jobs in 2015 is back for a second year in the Lower Mainland, thanks to $415,000 in government funding.
The New Westminster-based AWARE (Assisting With Awareness Regarding Employment) Society’s Tech45+ program will bring in 36 more people this year for classroom sessions and work experience placements to give them new skills to succeed in the workforce. The program is geared to unemployed people aged 45-and-up to give them employment skills.
Through provincial funding, the AWARE Society has again partnered with Sprott Shaw College to run the program. Participants will gain employability and occupational skills, including Sprott Shaw computer certification, five weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers and a minimum of two weeks of follow-up job-search support. Other courses offered during the project will include money skills, first aid and customer service.
The year-long program, which began June 27, 2016, is split into three 17-week intakes and will be complete in June 2017.
Ministry funding is from the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program.
Project-Based Labour Market Training projects provide funding to organizations to assist with local projects that provide a combination of on and/or off the job employment training to eligible participants to help them obtain sustainable employment.
The B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings that are projected by 2024 and to re-engineer B.C.'s education programs toward a data-driven system focusing investments toward training for in-demand jobs.
B.C. invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training each year from early learning programs for the youngest British Columbians all the way through to post-graduate education. Over the next 10 years, to better align annual investments to meet emerging labour market needs, the government will redirect $3 billion in training investments to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs.
In-demand occupations that require post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades in a range of sectors including technology, resource and health care.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“With 81% of last year’s Tech45+ participants finding work thanks to the project, it is a great example of government funding going toward positive employment outcomes. The AWARE Society staff do a great job working with the participants to put them in the best position to succeed in careers that interest them, and I’m proud we’re able to support them in the second running of the project.”
Jeff Anthony, campus director, Sprott Shaw College –
“I wish my current Sprott Shaw students had the great attitude and work ethic the participants from the AWARE Tech 45+ program had. Every single participant is committed to the course and each other. They have built a great rapport with their instructor and staff and they feel grateful for being here.”
Megan Brown, executive director, AWARE Society –
“AWARE’s Tech 45+ provides a stepping stone for many participants by offering further education and ongoing learning. It provides critical skills training that can help older workers access new employment opportunities. The program combines new technical skills with those developed through past work experience to help people remain competitive in today's labour market.”
Colleen, former Tech45+ participant –
“I have learned how to write a resume, and edit and search for things that would be a benefit to me in the long run. Most of all, I love the lectures. That has helped me in this program. Tech45+ has made me learn various things that I didn’t know, as well as made my life much easier. This is a wonderful program and I am very happy to have joined in. All the workshops I attended will play a huge part in me searching for a job and using my skills from what I have learned.”
- The AWARE Society became a founding member of the Fraser Works Co-operative in 2011 and was established to provide services under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once the right match of client to project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success.
- WorkBC provides a full range of employment services and supports to the unemployed and to employers.
- Services are provided to the general population, immigrants, persons with disabilities and youth.
- In 2016-17, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation 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 for Community and Employer Partnership funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- 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
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/