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For Immediate Release
Nov. 29, 2012

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
and Responsible for Labour



$6M supports skills training program for older workers


COQUITLAM – Government is investing $6 million to ensure that unemployed older workers in four urban areas of B.C. are receiving the skills training they need to re-enter the workforce.


The new Job Options BC - Urban Older Workers program supports workers aged 55 and over to remain active in the workforce by ensuring they have the necessary skills to fill the job opportunities in their communities. Thirteen community organizations are delivering the new program, which is running in Greater Vancouver, Greater Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna. These communities have the highest populations of older workers in B.C.


The program provides hands-on, practical work skills and experience through a two-phase approach. The first phase of the program offers five to six weeks of classroom workshops to provide participants with basic employability skills or skills upgrades, including computer training, career assessments and job-searches. In the second phase, participants gain on-the-job work experience through partnerships with local community and business employers. This combination of classroom training and a supported job placement concludes with up to six months of follow-up support.


The B.C. government is investing $2 million for 2012-13 and $4 million for 2013-14 in the Urban Older Workers program through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. Job Options BC programs are offered to unemployed British Columbians who are non-Employment Insurance clients. Eligible participants receive a training allowance to help them with the costs associated with attending workshops and training sessions before they are placed in a job.




Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –

“There will be about one million job openings throughout the province by 2020, so we need to ensure that everyone has the skills they need to find good jobs in B.C. The new Urban Older Worker program will help participants gain valuable skills to successfully re-enter the workforce.”


Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors –

“Starting over again late in your career can be daunting, but programs like this one help people gain the skills and confidence they need to take the next step in their job search. Many urban older workers now have more supports available to them as they train for a new career.”


Queenie Choo, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. –

“S.U.C.C.E.S.S. welcomes the government of B.C.’s initiative to launch this new Job Options program for urban older workers. This program will support the experienced, skilled and mature worker population to connect to the labour force.”


David Dodds, current participant of the Urban Older Workers program –  

“I am happy to be participating in the Job Options Urban Older Workers program. This program will provide us with the opportunity to re-enter the labour force; but most importantly, will help us to show employers that older workers are an invaluable asset to the workforce as we bring experience and knowledge to share and pass onto the younger generation.”


Quick Facts:

·         This year, the B.C. government, in partnership with the federal government, is investing over $15.8 million to provide Job Options BC programs in more than 50 B.C. communities through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.

·         The Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funds programs and services for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and for employed people who are low-skilled.

·         As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada.

·         Between 2008 and 2012, the LMA has provided training to approximately 74,000 individuals throughout the province.

·         The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014, and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.

·         During the month of November, the B.C. government is asking for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. You can contribute your ideas, comment or make a suggestion at:


Learn More:

·         WorkBC skills training programs:

·         Industry Training Authority:

·         Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement information:





Media Relations

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

250 356-8177



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