New programs throughout the province will support British Columbians who face multiple barriers to employment to build the skills they need to embark on new careers.
“Skills training and employment supports for people who face multiple barriers to employment help build a more diverse workforce, accessing the untapped potential in people while making sure no one is left behind,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “By breaking down barriers to employment for those who need it most, we’re lifting up British Columbians so everyone can be part of building the best B.C.”
Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast, announced $10 million a year to support more than 1,100 people a year throughout the province. Simons made the announcement on Mark's behalf during a visit to Open Door Social Services Society (Open Door Group) in Sechelt. The society is one of 26 service providers and post-secondary institutions throughout the province offering locally designed programs over two years.
“Through partnerships with organizations and post-secondary institutions, we’re creating positive learning environments that will lead to better opportunities for all British Columbians,” said Simons. “I’m pleased that people on the Sunshine Coast will be among those to benefit with training and employment supports provided by Open Door Social Services Society.”
Over two years, Open Door Group will receive $548,217 to provide Jobs in Demand training to 90 people in Sechelt and $619,529 to train 100 people in Kamloops. The program provides training toward occupational certificates in industries including hospitality and tourism, social services, the trades and security. Supports can include job placements, coaching, components to support Indigenous learners and cultural awareness, and disability supports, as well as financial supports including child care, transportation, work gear and training allowances.
“Programs like Jobs in Demand provide the supports and environment so people who face barriers can get the skills they need to succeed,” said Alona Puehse, chief strategy officer, Open Door Group. “When everyone can be meaningful participants in our economy, everyone benefits, including local businesses who are seeking skilled workers.”
Throughout B.C., training programs will also support those who face homelessness, mental health challenges and addiction recovery, or who have been incarcerated.
Skills training will prepare participants to work in a variety of industries, ranging from tourism and construction to recreation and hair styling. Employment supports may include counselling, mentoring, child care, transportation, work experience, wage subsidies and equipment, as well as disability and language supports.
- Skills Training for Employment (STE) – Individuals facing Multiple Barriers is one of five STE programs.
- STE programs are funded through the Canada-B.C. Workforce Development Agreement (WDA).
- Signed in 2018, the WDA provides $685 million over six years and flexibility to design and deliver locally driven, responsive and inclusive labour-market programming for British Columbians.
- The 2018 Labour Market Outlook projected approximately 900,000 job openings throughout B.C. between now and 2028, with 77% of those jobs requiring some level of post-secondary education or training.
Work BC – jobs, education and career information: https://www.workbc.ca/
Skills training for employment programs: www.workbc.ca/skillstraining-employment
Open Door Group: https://www.opendoorgroup.org/
Jobs in Demand: https://www.opendoorgroup.org/programs/jid/
A backgrounder follows.