A government-funded skills training program is giving eight people real-world work experience and training in the public works sector to help them find full-time employment and join in on British Columbia’s growing economy.
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has announced nearly $300,000 in government funding for the 30-week training program today at the College Of New Caledonia’s Mackenzie campus.
Government is funding the program to help EI-eligible participants learn about various trades and areas of public works through classroom and field instruction at CNC Mackenzie in a group setting before field experience with the District of Mackenzie and the McLeod Lake Indian Band’s public works departments.
By the end of the project, participants will have knowledge of the maintenance and repair of buildings roads and sidewalks, water systems, sanitary and storm sewer systems, as well as parks and recreation facilities. There is also a module on environmental best practices concerning public works. They will also be taught fundamental construction skills such as the use of math and tools, as well as employability skills they can use in their search for work.
The project gives unemployed Mackenzie residents new skills they can add to their resumes, and also gives local governments and contractors a crop of trained and motivated employees they can hire to step into positions with the tools they need to succeed.
Other partners in the program providing in-kind support are the Duz Cho Group of Companies and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour-market information.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
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 –
“This is a great project that will give a group of people the skills they need to find full-time employment in public works and begin to support themselves and the ones they love through a well-paying job. I’m proud that our ministry is able to offer training programs like this one to allow people a chance to gain a foothold in the job market.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General –
“I’m encouraged that this group of people is taking advantage of one of our many great government services that gives unemployed British Columbians new skills that they can use to find meaningful work in our region. This is a great example of what Community and Employer Partnerships are capable of.”
Shannon Bezo, regional principal, College of New Caledonia –
“The College of New Caledonia, Mackenzie Campus, has been working with our local communities for a few years to find a way to provide community maintenance training that meets the needs of both employers and potential employees. Through our partnership with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC for the public works maintenance curriculum, we were able to find the best curriculum to pilot and, through our partnership with WorkBC Mackenzie Employment Services Centre, we were able to determine there was an ongoing employment need. Government funding makes this pilot project possible and will ensure that all of the participants are able to gain employment in their local communities.”
Phil Rigby, project participant –
“When I first heard of this program I couldn’t pass up the opportunity it offered me. It will allow me to expand my skills both mentally as well as physically. I have learned more in the last six weeks than most new employees learn in their first year. I can’t wait to see what our instructor has for us next.”
John Leech, CEO, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC –
“The village public works program provides a strong training foundation for key skills needed in every community. Water, sewage, buildings, fire protection and roads are a few key areas in which training is provided. Those who complete the program will have acquired skills that are needed and will provide great services and career opportunities in First Nations in this community and region and throughout British Columbia.”
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a leading role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnerships and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once a connection between the client and a suitable project has been made, the WorkBC centre continues to provide financial support and services to ensure the client’s success.
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour-market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the five components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
- Social Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- First Nation bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships:
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/