New program offers job support for 55 and older

STRIDE program offered by Archway Community Services in Abbotsford

A new program at Archway Community Services is supporting adults over 55 in finding sustainable employment.

The Skills Training Results in Directed Education and Employment (STRIDE) program is open to residents of the Fraser Valley who are unemployed or under-employed.

Program supervisor Frank Amadasun said that, despite an ongoing labour shortage in B.C., there can be a disconnect between the jobs offered and the current experience, ability or training of the job-seekers.

“Employees over 55 may be lacking in some technological skills or be unable to perform a physically demanding job anymore,” he said.

“Plus, there is sometimes an element of age discrimination or lack of awareness of current job-hiring practices.”

STRIDE provides participants with short-term certification training, work experience, occupational skills training and possible wage subsidies.

Employers can tap into this often-overlooked pool of employees while benefiting from wage subsidies while employees are learning skills on the job.

“We’re bridging the gap between older adults seeking employment and the skills that employees need,” Amadasun said.

The program is free for job-seekers and employers and is funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training through a Workforce Development Agreement with the federal government.

Across the province, the Older Workers 55+ program is expected to help more than 400 people.

Visit Archway.ca/Stride for more information.

RELATED: Archway Community Services celebrates 50 years in Abbotsford

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