Responding to specific needs in the region, Selkirk College has partnered with the federal and provincial governments in launching two tuition-free programs to get unemployed and under-employed residents the training they need to be job ready.
Starting in November, eligible individuals have an opportunity to enrol in Professional Driver Training (Class 1) or Safety in Resource Industry (Forestry Training).
“The programs are intended to provide enhanced employability opportunities for participants,” says Gregg Neelin, Manager of the Selkirk College Community Education & Workplace Training department. “Our staff have been meeting with employers throughout the region and asking a simple question: Are you short of workers? And, if so, how many do you need this year, next year, and in five years? The responses from employers have guided our training plan and we are encouraged by the support we have received.”
Employers in the trucking industry report a need for more than 120 Class 1 drivers annually and have endorsed the Professional Driver Class 1 Training program which Selkirk College has offered for the past two years in partnership with Mountain Transport Institute. Employers are offering their support to mentor participants through the four-week work experience module of the training program and participate in job readiness training.
The new licensed drivers will benefit from the work experience, gaining confidence and applying their new skills and expertise in a safe environment.
“We see our participation in the mentorship and professional development portion of this program as a real opportunity to assist in bridging the current gap between becoming a newly licensed Class 1 driver and actually having the skills and experience it takes to be considered employable as a Class 1 driver,” says Brandon Cox, Human Resources Manager at Sutco Transport.
Contractors in the forest industry have also reported a need for trained workers to fill more than 100 vacancies annually. To fill this need the Forestry Training program will provideskill set development, industry certification, and training needed by employers. The range of job positions available is considerable and trained workers will be able to pursue a wide range of employment opportunities regionally in the forestry and other resource sectors.
“I am in full support of this program and will continue to provide labour market data, help guide the training program development, mentor participants, provide quality assurance feedback and recruit workers from the program,” says Doug Harrison, owner of Apex Forest & Wildfire Services Ltd.
These life changing training opportunities, along with a training allowance and personal safety equipment, are available tuition-free to eligible participants. Funding for these programs has been provided through the Canada-British Columbia Canada Job Fund Agreement .
If you are unemployed and not attached to EI, or under-employed, you may be eligible. For more information, visit Selkirk.ca/ce/pbt or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out the following information sessions:
Nelson Silver King Campus Room 16 November 6, 6:30 pm
Slocan W.E. Graham School, November 20, 6:30 pm