Up to 30 eligible British Columbians, over two intakes, will get skills training to prepare them for jobs as construction craft workers and labourers in the Lower Mainland.

This is a new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project from the Government of British Columbia. The priority for recruitment is intended for immigrants, youth, women and individuals laid off as a result of COVID-19.

“This is a great opportunity for people to receive the training they need to get a head start in the construction industry,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re experiencing a construction boom in parts of B.C. right now, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in a career in this field to apply to the project.”

The Province is providing more than $280,000 to Vancouver’s Multi-Lingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) to deliver its Fast Track to Infrastructure Construction Trades project.

“MOSAIC is pleased to be partnering with British Columbia Infrastructure Benefits Corporation (BCIB) to provide this training for individuals seeking employment on large scale construction projects like the Pattullo Bridge, Highway 1, the Broadway Subway project and more,” said Michael Radano, director of employment, language and social enterprise, MOSAIC.

BCIB is the Crown corporation that employs the skilled trades workforce on public infrastructure projects under the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). The partnership with MOSAIC will support BCIB’s mandate to mobilize and grow a skilled, diverse workforce to meet the current and future labour needs of the province. CBA projects provide priority hiring for local, Indigenous people, women, people with disabilities and other under-represented groups in the trades and prioritizes equity apprenticeships and trainee opportunities.

“Our government is working to grow and diversify the workforce so we can meet the demands of current projects and have a strong economic recovery,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “Projects like this will help increase training and career opportunities for people, so we can build a brighter future for B.C.”

During the project, participants will receive seven weeks of occupational, employability and life-skills training, four weeks of on-the-job work experience and one week of follow-up support to assist in their job search.

Participants will also receive workplace safety certification specific to infrastructure construction, including Occupational First Aid Level 1, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, fall protection, excavation, trenching and shoring safety, ladder safety, personal protective equipment and confined spaces.

Funding for this project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC’s CEP. CEP’s investments are targeted towards projects that support an inclusive economic recovery. CEP supports B.C. job seekers’ training and work experience leading to employment in available jobs and aids businesses and communities to address labour market challenges. CEP invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.

Full-time, group-based classroom learning for the first intake of this project starts on Monday, April 26, 2021. Project activities run through to July 16, 2021.

The second intake is scheduled to start July 9, 2021, and run until Oct. 8, 2021. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.