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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
June 3, 2014
Ministry of Advanced Education
Quesnel to be offered retraining opportunities for those affected by mill closure

QUESNEL – The College of New Caledonia (CNC) has received $150,000 from the Province under B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to provide job skills training and retraining opportunities for workers affected by the closure of the Canfor sawmill in Quesnel.

“Training programs at the College of New Caledonia will help those affected by the mill closure hone their current skills, build on their experience, and develop new skills,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “We are working across ministries and with community partners to support workers and their families as they make the transition to new jobs and opportunities.”

The training offered will be determined by CNC working in partnership with the Quesnel Community Adjustment Team and affected workers, and may include programs for heavy equipment operator, occupational first aid, forklift operator, fire suppression, and construction safety training. The courses will be delivered at the CNC Quesnel campus and will complement other programs offered at that campus.

“Our Community Adjustment Team and WorkBC staff were on the ground in Quesnel immediately to help coordinate employment information sessions and offer support for career counselling and re-training,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “This funding is one more way to make sure workers get back on their feet. The training through the college means they will be ready to take advantage of new employment opportunities.”

The Government of British Columbia will continue to work closely with the City of Quesnel and the full spectrum of local and regional organizations to provide support for mill workers, truck drivers, contractors, suppliers, families and the broader community affected by the sawmill closure. These services include career counselling, job matching, skills upgrading, business start-up support, and financial advice.

“We take great pride in being a community college and therefore are very grateful for this funding as it will allow us to help members of the community transition through this difficult time,” said CNC president Henry Reiser. “This funding will help create new opportunities at College of New Caledonia for the people of Quesnel.”

Projections show a million job openings in British Columbia by 2022 with about 43% requiring skills and trades training. Under B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: Re-engineering Education and Training, the Province is working to better match skills training to jobs.
Media Contact:
Scott Sutherland
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 952-6400

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