Selkirk College students training with help from Canada-B.C. partnership

The training project will prepare participants for jobs such as bus driver, dump truck driver and transit operator.

Picture of semi-truck parked on highway.

The training project will prepare participants for jobs such as bus driver, dump truck driver and transit operator in a variety of industries, including school districts, manufacturing and road maintenance. — Photo: Selkirk College

Approximately $228,000 has been allocated to Selkirk College to deliver the Professional Driving Training Class 2/3 program in Nakusp, Kaslo, Grand Forks and Slocan.

“Project-Based Training programs offered at Selkirk College provide life-changing opportunities right in our small West Kootenay communities,” says Dawn Lang, coordinator of Community Education and Workplace Training at Selkirk College. “Training is accessible and participants can learn close to home opening doors to a new or enhanced career.”

The training project will prepare participants for jobs such as bus driver, dump truck driver and transit operator in a variety of industries, including school districts, manufacturing and road maintenance. Training in the four eight-week programs is underway and will be complete in late May 2017.

“With this training, Selkirk College ensures participants have a strong support system to carry learners from the classroom to the workforce. We want to build our students' self-confidence and reach their full employment potential,” says Lang.

Erin Kingsland is a student of the professional driving course at Selkirk College in Kaslo. She found the training deeply rewarding and delivered in a supportive and informative manner.

“The knowledge I gained from the experience has set the foundation for a new beginning, both career wise and in my personal outlook,” she says. “I am very excited to explore previously unthought-of career options, and am equally excited at the possibility of greater income earning potential.”

This training project is part of an investment of more than $12 million for 49 training projects benefiting about 2,000 British Columbians throughout the province, thanks to funding provided through the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement under the Employer-Sponsored Training stream.

Train for Skills Needed in the Job Market

The Canada-B.C. Job Fund helps ensure training programs give individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market. The Employer-Sponsored Training stream provides funding for project-based, time-limited, employer-driven training that leads to a job at the end of training. This includes targeted projects delivered by Aboriginal service providers, post-secondary institutions, industry associations, community groups, and private trainers that meet regional labour market needs. Employers also provide either financial or in-kind contributions to support the training.

Ty Klassen is grateful for the opportunity to take the professional driving course through Selkirk College in conjunction with Mountain Transport Institute, Nakusp.

“The staff was great and instructors top-notch. Best of all, it was free! And the whole process, from beginning to end was, for me, invaluable, on both practical and personal levels. I am confident the experience will lead to meaningful employment and am excited about the possibilities,” he says.

The skills training projects support B.C.’s regional labour-market demands and provide opportunities to youth, women, Aboriginal people, immigrants and other eligible participants to receive training, as well as industry-recognized certificates or credentials.

B.C. is expecting almost one million job openings by 2025 and almost 80 per cent will require post-secondary education, says Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. Up to 134,700 job openings are expected in the Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay region.

“We want British Columbians to have the skills and training they need to be first in line for the jobs of today and in the future. The programs supported by the Canada-B.C. Job Fund will provide training for in demand jobs in regions right across the province,” she says.

Through the Canada Job Fund, the Government of Canada provides $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training. Under the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement, the province receives a total of $65 million per year – its per-capita share of the available funding.

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