More people facing barriers will have access to skills training

Media Contacts

Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

Media Relations
250 508-5030


Facts about barriers to employment
  • British Columbians facing two or more barriers to employment are eligible.
  • Barriers may include housing instability, addiction recovery, prior criminal justice involvement, mental health challenges, lack of social networks and connections, lack of recent and/or Canadian work experience, limited literacy skills, limited English language skills and low income.
  • The Workforce Development Agreement (WDA)-funded Skills Training for Employment program for people facing multiple barriers represents $10 million annually for employment services and supports since it started in 2019.
  • The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills has provided more than $40 million for employment services and supports delivered to more than 4,300 people over the past four years through the Individuals Facing Multiple Barriers Program.
    • This program includes 28 agreements with 23 unique service providers.
  • Part of the funding will be reserved for programs in rural and remote communities to ensure access for all British Columbians.
  • Service providers will be selected based on their expertise in working with specific vulnerable and under-represented populations, and the provider’s ability to design and deliver specialized skills training. 
  • Service providers will be awarded contracts following the procurement process through BC Bid.
What people are saying about expanding skills training

Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –

“We are committed to breaking down barriers to employment for those who need it most. Expanding skills training for employment programs for individuals facing multiple barriers helps break the cycle of poverty, address affordability and maximize support for vulnerable British Columbians who have historically been left behind.”

Renan, participant in Dawson Creek Catholic Social Services Society’s Skills Training for Employment for Multi-Barriered Individuals program –

“I finally got my dream job. Looking back, I realize I am where I am now because of the Job Search program. My family and I are very grateful.”

Amber, participant in Obair Economic Society’s Elevation to Employment program –

“I found Obair extremely helpful and efficient. I was able to complete my current goals and make a specific plan for education that would enable me to diversify my business. Working with Obair, I haven’t had any obstacles or hurdles to overcome. My experience has been great.”