NDP MLAs say skills training will help people in New Westminster get back to work

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NEW WESTMINSTER – New Democrat MLAs Aman Singh and Jennifer Whiteside say people whose jobs were affected by COVID-19, and those in marginalized or underrepresented groups, will be able to access new training and job opportunities to find their place as our economy recovers from COVID-19.

“For many people who were already grappling with barriers to employment, the pandemic was devastating,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “That’s why we’re investing in folks who need extra support. Our recovery must lift up everyone, not just those at the top.”

“The pandemic amplified existing barriers that can make it harder for some people to find or keep a good job,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “With these training programs, we’re breaking down barriers and giving people the skills and work experience they need to find work in high-demand fields, which will set them up for long-term success.”

Many programs are already underway and additional training opportunities will start in the next few months. The following are some examples of the over 20 programs available to people in New Westminster:

  • Douglas College will deliver the Practice Enterprise Program to 36 people in the Lower Mainland who are recent immigrants or visible minorities. The program provides participants with work experience in a simulated business environment. People will gain hands-on skills in administration, human resources, marketing, or digital media. The program is supported by an investment of $512,266.
  • YWCA Metro Vancouver will deliver the Greatworks/Restart Program to 60 women who have been impacted by the criminal justice system in the Lower Mainland. The program helps women explore career opportunities, offers one-on-one and group counselling and support, and provides essential skills training as well as financial supports while completing the program. The program is supported by an investment of $497,778.
  • Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) will deliver the E-Agriculture Training Program to 40 people in the Lower Mainland who are recent immigrants or visible minorities. Participants will gain in-demand skills to find sustainable employment in the agriculture industry. Training includes digital literacy, language skills, occupational skills, and pre-employment supports. This program is supported by an investment of $367,440.

The MLAs say $95 million has been allocated to organizations around the province that provide skills training and employment services to over 9,000 people. This investment includes both provincial and federal funding through the Canada-B.C. Workforce Development Agreement.

This is part of the New Democrat government’s Economic Recovery Plan to help thousands of people upskill or reskill and find good, sustainable jobs. These programs complement a provincial investment of $20 million earlier this year for short-term training projects to help people enter or rejoin the workforce.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AEST0051-001544

If you are an employer seeking funding to train new or existing staff, see B.C. Employer Training Grant:  https://www.workbc.ca/Employer-Resources/BC-Employer-Training-Grant.aspx

If you are unemployed and looking for a program that can help you get back on your feet and into the labour market, see STE Economic Recovery Programs: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/STE-Economic-Recovery-Programs.aspx