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Reskilling program helps British Columbians return to work

Reskilling program helps British Columbians return to work

February 5, 2021 at 9:13 am  BC, News, Politics

Government has launched a new Skills Training for Economic Recovery program in order to support people affected by COVID-19 to get access to new training opportunities for high-demand jobs.  

“As the Labour Force Survey has shown us, our employment numbers continue to be affected by the pandemic. That’s why our government’s investment in enabling thousands of people to reskill or upskill through new, innovative short-term training programs in sought-after fields is so important,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “These short-term training projects enable people to get the training they need to get back to work and take advantage of high-demand jobs.”

Government’s $20-million investment is providing short-term skills training to people most affected by COVID-19 so they can develop the knowledge, skills and competencies for good job opportunities while the economy recovers. Almost 2,500 British Columbians will be able to quickly build the skills needed to access jobs that are in demand and get back to work sooner.

“We know there are British Columbians who are really struggling through this pandemic and we want to help,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “I’m proud we are investing in short-term skills training projects that allow people throughout the province to access training to get them back to work and help rebuild our economy.”

The new Skills Training for Economic Recovery stream within the Community Workforce Response Grant program is providing funding for training providers to equip British Columbians with skills for new jobs. Programs offer a diverse range of opportunities and will prepare people for careers in areas such as technology, manufacturing, hospitality, horticulture and automotive trades.

Some programs are underway. Many projects will start in the next few weeks, such as:

  • The First Nations Technology Council’s Focus Web Development project, which will provide Indigenous participants with digital skills training for careers in the technology sector.
  • Aspect Safety will provide training that prepares participants for employment on major industrial projects in northwest B.C.
  • College of the Rockies will deliver the Child Youth Family Studies project in Cranbrook through classroom and online delivery. This training prepares people for work as early childhood education assistants and entry-level education assistants.

The Skills Training for Economic Recovery stream is part of a suite of initiatives under B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan that will help thousands of people upskill or reskill and find their place in the post-pandemic economy. Targeted investments will help create opportunities through short-term training for in-demand jobs, Indigenous community-based skills training and education, targeted training for health and human services jobs, as well as micro credentials.

StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan outlines the steps government is taking to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared to meet the challenges ahead. It is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response.


Denise Williams, CEO, First Nations Technology Council –

“The First Nations Technology Council is pleased to utilize this important economic recovery fund to offer Indigenous peoples in B.C. – 75 more seats in our highly successful Focus Web Development Program. This program is a part of a suite of Indigenous-led, designed and supported programming that the technology council offers in order to accelerate new opportunities and career pathways within B.C.’s highly digitally reliant economy. With 643 graduates to date and over 680 Indigenous peoples expressing interest in technology council programming, we are grateful for these resources to meet this notable demand. We look forward to more opportunities to work with the Province on digital skills development and other economic recovery initiatives that benefit Indigenous peoples.”

Jesse Santos, general manager, Aspect Safety –

“Through the Skills Training for Economic Recovery program, we are excited to be delivering over 1,500 industry-recognized construction certificates to residents in rural and remote communities in northern B.C. We’ve seen early successes of the program in the job market, and are proud that the enrolment of women and Indigenous participants in our programming is significantly above industry average. We are grateful to the Province of B.C. for providing funding for this much-needed initiative.”

Leah Bradish, director of continuing education, College of the Rockies

“The College of the Rockies region is in urgent need of qualified early childhood educators and education assistants. Funding for our Child Youth Family Studies project allows us to provide the training individuals in our region need to fill these vital roles and opens the door to rewarding new career options for those whose jobs may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately 80% of jobs in B.C. require some form of post-secondary education.
  • Short-term skills training programs can be up to 52 weeks in duration.
  • The new training projects start between November 2020 and March 2021.

Learn More:

Fast-track skills training opportunities in B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-opportunities

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