Government doubles BC Food Processors Work! program
A four-week training program that allows participants to work and gain employment in the high-demand food processing industry has been extended to allow an additional 120 people to receive training.
First announced in July 2012, the BC Food Processors Work! program was initially geared at helping 120 participants over a 20-month period through multiple and continuous intakes.
Now an additional 120 participants will be put through the program.
Participants must be Labour Market Agreement eligible – meaning they are unemployed and ineligible for Employment Insurance benefits and programs, or are employed, low-skilled individuals. Participants receive two weeks of in-class training, followed by an additional two weeks of training to prepare them for their job search and interviews.
At the end of the program, graduates receive four individual certifications:
- Orientation to the food and beverage processing industries.
- Introduction to quality assurance in the food processing industries.
- Essential skills and food industry terminology with ESL component.
- National sanitation training.
- Nearly 34,000 people are employed in B.C.’s primary agriculture and aquaculture activities.
- Under the BC Jobs Plan, the Agrifood Sector Strategy will guide the further development of B.C.’s agrifoods sector, with the goal to increase industry revenues from the current $10.5 billion a year to $14 billion annually by 2017.
- The Labour Market Sector Solutions program invests in developing the skills of eligible participants, while assisting B.C. industries and sectors, employers and workers to address labour market needs throughout the province.
- Over the next decade, British Columbia is projected to have more than one million job openings.
- The BC Jobs Plan will ensure the over $500 million provided annually for labour market and training programs is targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs.
- As part of this annual expenditure, B.C. invests approximately $66 million a year – between 2008 and 2014 – in programs and services that help people get the skills they need to fill job opportunities in regions where they live and study.
- The Canada-B.C.LMA funds programs and services for employed people who are low-skilled and for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
- The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014, and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.