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WorkBC office in Powell River offers training funding opportunities for job seekers

Region’s employment landscape changed because of COVID-19
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HELPING HANDS: WorkBC staff members [from left] Paige Stephens, Kori Addams and Avi Bhatoolall are ready to help the region’s job seekers discover local employment opportunities and training options.

Since opening in 1984, Powell River’s WorkBC office has been helping residents find employment, and in the last 37 years, the employment market in the area has evolved. In response, WorkBC services have also changed to meet the requirements of the new employment landscape.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for change in the realm of employment,” says Kori Addams, training services coordinator with WorkBC. “It has provided people with a unique opportunity to step back and reflect on their values and priorities. Job seekers and workers have been really thinking about what work/life balance means to them, and how their current skills and life circumstances fit into the changing labour market.”

WorkBC provides a job board for employment opportunities in the region, and also provides a variety of training services for job seekers.

“There has been increased interest in our Skills Training Services, where eligible clients can participate in funded training to support them in finding sustainable employment,” says Kori. “Our training services look at a variety of schooling options, including shorter term certificates (under six weeks), all the way up to two-year certificate programs. The eligibility criteria are different for each training service, so if you’re interested in applying for training funding, give us a call and we’ll see what services might be a fit for you.”

WorkBC offers other services, including one-on-one employment coaching, resumé and cover letter development, career exploration, interview skills, insights into the local job market, and more. The office can also provide funding for short term, entry-level certifications to eligible job seekers.

“In addition to our training services geared toward lengthier programs, we can help people obtain entry-level certificates such as FoodSafe, First Aid, Fall Protection, WHMIS and others, which can help them meet the requirements for even more positions,” says Kori. “We have seen a lot of job openings in high-demand industries, such as health care, construction and food services, that often require one or more of these certificates. And for youth in our community, our next Bladerunners Youth Employment Program opportunity, which includes many of these entry-level certificates, is coming in fall 2021.”

There have also been changes in the types of positions that are available in the region.

“We have seen an increase in work-from-home opportunities and flexible work schedules for people with school-aged children and those with diverse accessibility needs,” says Kori. “More employers have embraced remote work with the influx of new virtual technologies, and that has made many career paths more accessible than they have been in the past. It’s very encouraging to see.”

Team offers support

Staff at WorkBC believe everyone should have the opportunity to find meaningful and sustainable employment.

“We have a team of passionate staff who are here to support community members in finding employment,” says Kori. “We strive to foster belonging and empowerment in our client spaces and value the unique characteristics, wisdom, experiences and worldviews of each client we have the opportunity to work with. If you are currently looking for work, we would love to meet you!”

For more information about training and other employment services, contact the WorkBC office at 604.485.7958 or workbc@liftcommunityservices.org.

The office at 103-4511 Marine Avenue is open four days a week, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 8:30 am to 7:30 pm on Wednesdays, and 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursdays, for in-person and virtual assistance.

People can also follow WorkBC Powell River on Facebook at facebook.com/careerlinkbc.