VANCOUVER – As many as 20 eligible British Columbians will get skill enhancement training and local work experience as IT help desk analysts to help them develop their careers in the tech industry.

This is a new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project from the Government of British Columbia. Participant recruitment is focused on internationally trained professionals and individuals who want to pursue careers in tech, but have limited Canadian work experience.

“This Job Creation Partnership is a great example of a community-based project,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Participants will have the opportunity to advance their careers while providing IT and tech support to the community as part of their work experience.”

The Province is providing almost $300,000 to YWCA Metro Vancouver to deliver skills enhancement and work experience courses over two intakes of its YWCA TechLink program.

Participants will receive up to 20 weeks of work experience, at least two weeks of followup support to assist in their job search and an opportunity to participate in two networking events over the course of the project.

They will also receive professional certification as IBM customer engagement specialists, as well as training to reset and set up donated technology, format disk drives and install operating systems and malware protection.

“There are so many Metro Vancouver job seekers who have robust tech qualifications and experience, but struggle to find work because they’re internationally trained and lack local experience,” said Owen Stride, program manager, YWCA TechLink. “YWCA TechLink is a great opportunity, not only for these job seekers to develop local experience so that they can pursue their tech careers, but also for community members who need support accessing technology at a time when it’s needed more than ever. We’re grateful to be able to deliver this program with the support of the ministry.”

Funding for this project is provided through the Job Creation Partnership stream of WorkBC’s CEP. CEP’s investments are targeted toward 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.

“YWCA TechLink and its participants will be a valuable part of our economic recovery,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “Not only is YWCA TechLink creating opportunity for trained job seekers to develop experience in B.C., the economy will benefit from this workforce for years to come. This is a great opportunity that benefits everyone in British Columbia.”

Full-time, group-based learning for the first intake of this project will start on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Project activities run until Jan. 14, 2022. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.