A total of 22 Abbotsford and Mission organizations have been included in a new round of funding for skills-training programs as part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan.
A combination of federal and provincial funding will invest $95 million across the province into people facing barriers to employment.
“Our government is all about leveling the playing field as we recover from the pandemic,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “These programs will support people with disabilities, newcomers to our province, and survivors of domestic violence to get the skills they need to prepare for meaningful work in a changing economy.”
The funding is designed to help citizens “upskill or reskill” in the post-COVID economy, by allocating grants through three provincial funding streams:
- The Community Workforce Response Grant program will receive $33 million to train 3,700 people for “in-demand work and jobs with changing skill requirements.” Low-skilled workers, youth, women, workers over 55, Indigenous peoples, recent immigrants, people of colour and people with employment history in an industry or sector hurt by COVID-19 will be prioritized for short-term training.
- The B.C. Employer Training Grant program will receive $2.8 million to train present or former workers in sectors affected by the pandemic, and to help train for people with disabilities.
- Skills Training for Employment programs will receive $59.2 million for 117 new agreements to provide skills training that leads to employment, and “wraparound” supports for 5,200 British Columbians in 2021-22. These programs are meant to help vulnerable populations, including survivors of domestic violence, persons with disabilities, individuals with criminal justice-system involvement, recent immigrants, visible minorities, youth, Indigenous youth and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness. It also includes Industry Training Authority pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship trades training for persons with disabilities and pre-apprenticeship trades training programs for youth and equity-seeking groups.
“The job market has changed a lot this past year as people have shifted and adapted to the challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.
“Access to specialized and shorter skills training programs that help people start their own businesses, or prepare them for the digital workforce is a game changer as our communities recover from the pandemic.”
Many Abbotsford-Mission programs are already underway, and more will start next month. The programs included for the two cities are: