Funding will be used to train 72 adults living in the West Kootenay. (Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

$920,000 grant to train West Kootenay workers aged 55+

Mature participants can gain skills and certification to re-enter the workforce

Do you know someone aged 55+ looking to get back into the workforce, but needs training for today’s job market?

If so, there’s some good news.

The Skills Centre in Trail has received a $920,000 provincial grant to direct into programs for mature workers in the West Kootenay who are looking to build skills for new careers. Training opportunities in the fields of community outreach, hospital and home support, as well as safety and security, are meant to break down barriers to employment.

“We are seeing more mature workers return to the workforce for a variety of reasons, including longer life expectancy, increasing need for financial security, and changing views on traditional retirement,” says Jaime Malcolm, program manager at the Skills Centre.

“The skills training and job placement support is designed to help people retrain for a career change or to re-enter the workforce, and we are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for participants.”

Training opportunities in Trail and Grand Forks are available throughout the year. A group is running now and there is another intake in January 2020.

“The aim of the program is to provide training for job seekers 55+ in one of the following areas: community outreach, hospital and home care, or security and safety,” Malcolm explained.

“By completing the training a person can hope to gain skills and certification to re-enter the workforce. There are also financial supports for transportation and required work gear as well as financial completion bonuses for starting work and staying in a job for three months,” she said.

“Participants will also receive direct support with job placement and employers can receive direct supports, including some wage subsidy options as well, when they hire a participant of the program.”

Sessions are held in the Skills Centre, and include short term certifications through Selkirk College as well as other training providers. Depending upon the program, learning opportunities may include First Aid with CPR C, mental health first aid, Foodsafe, WHIMS, and traffic control and flagging.

Participants from Castlegar and Salmo can attend, though the Skills Centre also offers programs in Grand Forks at the Community Futures Boundary office.

“We would love to get the word out there as much as possible,” Malcolm said. “Because these are great programs full of benefits for the participants.”

For more information, call the Trail office at 250.368.6360 or email Christie at clim@communityskillscentre.com or Karina at kallis@communityskillscentre.com.

For more information on Grand Forks opportunities, email asukoveoff@communityskillscentre.com or call Amanda at 1 (877) 267.9399 ext. 229.

Minister Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, will be at the Skills Centre on Dec. 19 to make the official announcement.

“Older workers are a significant part of the West Kootenay population,” she said. “So I’m very pleased that our government is providing supports for programming so they too can enjoy meaningful and rewarding employment.”

The $920,000 will be stretched out over two years in Trail and Grand Forks. The funding will be broken down as follows: $300,000 to support 24 mature people with hospital and home care support worker training; $300,000 to support 24 mature people with community outreach training; and $320,000 to support 24 people with security and safety training.

The program for hospital and home care support prepares participants for careers in the health care industry. It includes short-term certificate and computer skills training, financial literacy workshops, Indigenous cultural components and work experience. Job examples include working for Interior Health in the areas of housekeeping, dietary , or laundry.

Community outreach training includes short-term certificate training, financial literacy workshops, Indigenous cultural components, computer boot camp and work experience. Subsequent employment could include working with youth, or for various local service agencies.

Security and safety training offers instruction in computer skills, basic security and short-term certificates. It also includes Indigenous cultural components and field experience. Job examples include flagging and working security at various sites.

Seventeen skills-training programs throughout B.C. are receiving $5 million annually to deliver locally designed skills-training programs and supports to an estimated 733 British Columbians per year.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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