Provincial funding to train workers aged 55 and older was announced at the WorkBC Centre in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith and Melanie Mark, minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, said older workers will get opportunities to build skills for new careers, with training programs that break down barriers to employment for older workers.
“Skills training and employment supports for older workers are key ingredients to building a more diverse workforce and accessing the untapped potential in people, while making sure no one is left behind,” said Mark.
There were two Maple Ridge students who had taken the Encore Careers through Douglas College who vouched for the training program.
Craig Morisseau said it should be offered to every 55-plus worker who loses their job – as he did after 27 years in the fabrics industry.
He now has five job interviews lined up.
The program provides learners with short-term certificates, digital literacy training and coaching for self-employment or consultancy.
Supports can include job placements, Indigenous cultural components, disability supports, transportation and work gear.
Holly Murton spent a career in hospital administration and is in the final stages of retraining in the field of speech pathology.
She said the program gave her a plethora of new skills, including online job searching.
Over two years, Douglas College will receive $814,185 to provide 120 learners with Encore Careers training at locations in Maple Ridge, Burnaby and Coquitlam.
“With a changing economy, programs like Encore will provide opportunities for workers aged 55-plus to get the training that they need to change careers,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.
“And, for the workers who are taking advantage of this program, I want to give them credit for their hard work and determination.”