A Community and Employer Partnerships program with a successful history of helping unemployed individuals find high-paying careers as retail automotive sales professionals is being funded again in the Lower Mainland.
The Douglas College Retail Automotive Sales Training Program, which provided 36 Lower Mainland job-seekers paid training and work experience in 2015, has begun again, thanks to nearly $340,000 in funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund through Project-Based Labour Market Training.
Over the next year, up to 35 participants new to the industry will be receiving employability and skills training in sales techniques and customer service, including on-the-job work experience at auto dealerships to become licensed to sell vehicles in British Columbia. They are also learning advanced sales strategies and negotiation skills in a classroom setting as they attain a Douglas College certificate of completion in retail automotive sales training.
Benefitting from working under experienced industry leaders and hearing from guest speakers, the participants will gain essential skills needed to find work as auto sales professionals once the program is complete in March 2017.
Douglas College has partnered with several Lower Mainland auto dealerships and the New Car Dealerships Association of BC to provide work experience opportunities.
Project-Based Labour Market Training is a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships. It provides 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.
To date, more than 1,300 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 250 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“There is a need for qualified auto sales professionals in the rapidly expanding Lower Mainland. This program is a fantastic way for the government to help meet the needs of both the industry and unemployed British Columbians who are interested in working in this fast-paced and exciting sector.”
Doug Bing, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows –
“I was encouraged to see the results of the program when it was completed in 2015 and that it was brought back for another year. I look forward to hearing that the participants achieved their goal of becoming full-time auto sales professionals in the near future.”
Marc Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission –
“With a history of helping people through the rigours of finding work, I’m happy to see this program get its funding again because it truly has made a difference in the lives of so many British Columbians. This one of many great opportunities that Community and Employer Partnerships can bring for British Columbians.”
Valerie Lockyer, executive director, The Training Group, Douglas College –
“Dealerships have enthused about the uniqueness of this program and how it has helped them recruit additional skilled sales staff. The industry continues to show high demand for licensed, properly trained individuals who can be motivated, dynamic salespeople. With the co-operation and generous support of the ministry, we are once again able to offer a comprehensive, in-depth training program with the required certification that allows participants to achieve success in a lucrative, rewarding career.”
Nathan McRae, past participant –
“This program answered so many questions, gave so much insight into the industry and helped us prepare in a way that when I started the new job, I felt more comfortable than at any other time I started a new position.”
- Several Lower Mainland dealerships and related associations are partners in the project, including: the West Coast Auto Group; Regency Auto Group; the Trotman Group; Dueck Vancouver; Jim Pattison Auto Group; Automotive Finance & Insurance Elite; the First Canadian Group of Companies; the New Car Dealership Association of BC; and the Peter Legge International Institute for Sales Excellence.
- 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.
- There are five funding streams under the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- Social Innovation
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC, which serves all unemployed British Columbians who are looking for work and are eligible to work in Canada.
- The Employment Program of BC (EPBC) is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Partnership Agreement.
- People experiencing barriers to employment are a key consideration in the delivery of EPBC. This includes:
- Persons with disabilities
- Aboriginal people
- Rural and remote populations
- Multi-barriered clients
- Survivors of violence and/or abuse, and
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 the Douglas College program: http://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/training-group/short-term-training/industry-training/automotive-sales
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
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/