Tolko’s Kelowna saw mill officially closed on Wednesday, but its former workers have been job seeking for months.
If some of those workers are still searching for the next stop of their careers, there is an opportunity coming to Kelowna and other cities throughout the province, like Vernon and Prince George, from the Canadian Vocational Training Centre.
The organization has received a grant from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to not only train former forestry workers but to provide transportation and lodging as well.
“Workers can come from anywhere in the province and pick a location that they prefer,” Kelowna campus director Frances McLachlan said Friday. “What happens is their transportation is provided, as well as providing room and board.
“It really helps, or goes beyond, the regular training money that we normally get. This is a lot more involved.”
The training will begin on Feb. 3 at Kanata Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre, and the average length of training will be 12 weeks. McLachlan and her team will sit down with each client and do a full assessment to determine what career will suit them best.
“It’s a wide-open program, and that’s another big advantage,” she said. “What we do is a needs assessment and then one-on-one interviews. Then we are going to do some aptitude and interest testing, and connect participants with either short-term training or a little bit longer term training. All those certificates are paid for by the program.”
The Canadian Vocational Training Centre will also help them find an employer, and a two-week, on-the-job training component is part of the package as well. The organization will even provide work materials, like work boots, if necessary.
Anyone interested in taking part in the Canadian Vocational Training Centre can call McLachlan at (250) 863-3242.
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