More than $1 million in funding has come to the Prince George area for training people for the industrial professions.
A funding partnership between the federal and provincial governments is getting trades training into the hands of local people through two delivery institutions: the College of New Caledonia and the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association. The CNC portion totaled an even $1 million while PGNAETA's portion was just over $92,000.
Both programs are at or nearing their completion date, meaning that money now means graduates ready to work almost immediately.
"These funds come as a result of our involvement with the Canada Job Fund, which is investment in targeted, time-limited training programs that are driven by labour market needs," said Prince George MLA Shirley Bond, the province's Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. "This is one way we can help make sure people get prepared with the right skills for regional workforce demands. It's an important opportunity for people who need additional skills to acquire them and give them the opportunity to be employment ready, in the fields that have a demand for workers."
The CNC investment provided heavy equipment operator programs in Prince George and Mackenzie.
The PGNAETA investment went to its office technology project program in Prince George.
"We are very grateful to the ministry for providing this funding," CNC president Henry Reiser said. "This course has provided a number of individuals, who are typically unable to access these sort of opportunities, with training that is supported and asked for by our local industry partners."
"Our hope is, graduates will move quickly into the workforce," said Bond. "We are expecting nearly one million job vacancies in British Columbia in the next 10 years due to a combination of retirements and economic growth. It is important to communities and the provincial economy that British Columbians have the skills and training they need for these future openings, so they are the first in line for these jobs we know are going to be there. We are paying attention to the data, and dialogue with industry partners and education partners telling us what those jobs are going to predominantly be."
Bond said that the provincial government will, over the next 10 years, direct $3 billion in training investments towards these in-demand jobs.