New program offers staff training

Free Rein Associates helps employers provide upgrades for low-skilled employees.

Free Rein Associates is offering a new pilot program to help train and support employees in their work environment.

It’s estimated there will be about 160,000 vacant trade jobs in the next five years, and over three-quarters of all jobs by 2019 will require at least some post-secondary education. To give low-skilled employees a chance to move up and fill these jobs, the new $3-million Target Skills Shortage Pilot Program is helping local businesses and non-profit organizations with less than 100 employees identify eligible candidates, develop training plans and access funding for training.

The project targets four high-growth sectors: transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services.

“It will help get them in the employment market where they can enhance their knowledge and hopefully improve their ongoing chances for secure employment,” said program leader Sar Robson.

“To increase employee motivation, job satisfaction and morale among employees is always an ongoing challenge for every organization. This is a good thing to show these employees how you can support them.”

Through the program, up to $1,500 per employee or $7,500 per employer is available to pay for tuition fees and purchase training services, books, manuals and other study materials.

The pilot runs until March 2012 and is expected to serve at least 1,200 low-skilled employees in B.C.

The Target Skills Shortage Pilot Program is administered by the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT), in partnership with local service providers throughout the province. Funding is provided by the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Agreement.

For more information, contact Free Rein at 604-869-2279.