Up to 192 residents in the northwest and Nechako regions are receiving the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to support from the provincial and federal governments for various skills training projects.
The governments have allocated more than $1.1 million in total to five service providers to provide eight training projects at no cost to eligible participants. The projects are:
- $135,219 to the College of New Caledonia (CNC) to deliver the Return to Work for Older Workers training in Vanderhoof to 12 participants.
- $155,125 to CNC to deliver the Return to Work for Older Workers training 12 participants from Fort St. James.
- $160,357 to CNC to deliver the Professional Driver Partnerships Program to eight participants from Burns Lake and Fort St. James.
- $89,812 to CNC to deliver the Aboriginal in Trades Training to eight participants from Prince George and Burns Lake.
- $211,095 to Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) to deliver the Burns Lake Bridging to Employment training to 45 participants from Burns Lake, Lake Babine Nation and Burns Lake Band.
- $174,457 to Terrace and District Community Services Society (TDCSS) to deliver the Post-Secondary Readiness & Employment Program to 85 participants from Terrace.
- $45,033 to Tl’azt’en Nation to deliver the Tl’azt’en Trades Access Program to 12 participants from Fort St. James.
- $151,140 to Atlin Tlingit Economic Limited Partnership to deliver the Skills Training Employment Program to 10 participants from Atlin.
Today, MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, visited CNC’s Vanderhoof campus. Rustad and CNC representatives met with participants as well as instructors in the Return to Work for Older Workers program, and heard how the training will help participants pursue jobs in the future.
The Return to Work for Older Workers programs at CNC are funded through the Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers (TIOW) program. To help more mature workers in B.C. re-enter the workforce, the provincial and federal governments have extended the successful TIOW in 2017 with approximately $2 million in funding. The contract extensions will enable 12 service providers to continue to deliver skills training programs for older workers from January through the end of June 2017.
The Burns Lake Bridging to Employment training at CSFS and the Post-Secondary Readiness & Employment Program at TDCSS are funded through the Province’s Employment Services and Supports (ESS) program under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund.
The remaining programs announced are funded through the Province’s new Employment Innovation Fund (EIF) under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Employment Services and Supports program. The Province received an additional $6.5 million through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement in 2016/17 and has allocated this funding for EIF projects.
The training investments announced today support the recently announced Building on our Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy. The strategy outlines the Province’s long-term vision to ensure that British Columbians in all regions of the province have the opportunity for well-paying jobs and a high quality of life in their community.
The Building on our Rural Advantages strategy delivers on a key priority in the mandate letter for the Minister of State for Rural Economic Development.
Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development –
“I’ve lived in rural communities three-quarters of my life, so I understand first-hand the challenges they face. Many men and women in resource communities are forced into career changes that often require a different set of skills. Our focus on rural economic development includes a commitment to re-train British Columbians to give them the skills necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing global environment. We are taking action to address the concerns in rural B.C., including steps to diversify their local economies. By facing these challenges head-on, we are giving women and men in every region of B.C. a chance to prosper in our province’s bright future.”
John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes –
“I am thrilled about the skills training programs that are currently underway in our northern communities. These training programs, funded by the B.C. and federal governments, will help job seekers in northern B.C. join the workforce, which will also have a positive impact on their lives in the future.
"It was a great opportunity to meet the mature participants training right now at the College of New Caledonia. I wish all of the participants in our region success in completing their training and future careers.”
Henry Reiser, president, College of New Caledonia –
“The College of New Caledonia continues to be responsive to community needs in communities such as Vanderhoof and Burns Lake. Retraining workers with new skills helps stimulate the economy in northern B.C. and we are thrilled to receive the funding to do so. Through offering this programming we continue to reflect the changing needs of industry and workers in the Central Interior.”
Targeted Initiatives for Older Workers (TIOW)
- The provincial and federal governments launched the TIOW program in 2007 to assist vulnerable communities that are facing labour force adjustments due to changes in the local economy. The program provides skills training and employment support to unemployed older workers ages 55 to 64 so they can pursue longer-term jobs, further education or career training.
- Each TIOW program is based on the unique demographics and economic outlook of the region. Because of this tailored approach to content and delivery, this program has been very well received by both participants and employers.
- Since 2007, B.C. and federal government have invested $37 million in TIOW to train more than 4,300 participants in B.C.
- In 2015/16, 421 unemployed mature workers received TIOW support and skills training in 16 B.C. communities; in 2016/17, TIOW will help over 430 mature workers in B.C.
Employment Services and Supports (ESS)
- The Employment Innovation Fund supports one-time, short-term and innovative training and employment projects in B.C. communities that are facing higher unemployment or labour shortages, as well as to target populations including Aboriginal Peoples, youth, recent immigrants, persons with disabilities, and people who face employment barriers.
- The government’s $6.5-million investments in EIF projects will provide employment services and supports for up to 748 participants between fall 2016 and spring 2017.
- ESS funds a wide range of training, from job readiness and essential skills to entrepreneurial and trades training for unemployed or employed low-skilled, non-EI eligible individuals, including: youth, women, Aboriginal people, immigrants and those under-represented in the trades. The objective of the ESS program is to prepare British Columbians for entry to, or return to sustainable employment.
- In 2016-17, a total of $43.4 million was provided to the Province for all ESS programs. These include the Ministry of Advanced Education’s Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships programs, and other training programs delivered in partnership with the Industry Training Authority.
Canada-B.C. Job Fund
- The Canada-B.C. Job Fund supports training programs that provide individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market. The funding is being made available through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement.
- Through the Canada Job Fund, the Government of Canada provides $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training. Under the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement, the Province receives a total of $65 million per year – its per-capita share of the available funding.
Targeted Initiative for Older Workers: https://www.workbc.ca/Resources-for/Mature-Workers.aspx
B.C. Jobs Plan: http://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/
British Columbia’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/skills
B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2025: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
Building on Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/