New funding connects people to tourism careers in the Okanagan

As many as 30 eligible British Columbians will get skills training to prepare them for jobs in the hospitality industry in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions.

“Graduates of this skills-training project will be qualified for a variety of jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The training participants receive will prepare them for exciting careers and give them an opportunity to contribute to the growth of local businesses in their communities.”

This is a new Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project from the Government of British Columbia. Participant recruitment is focused on immigrants.

The Province is providing more than $450,000 to Okanagan College, Kelowna campus to deliver two intakes of its hospitality professional program. Participants will receive 17 weeks of occupational and employability skills training, 10 weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers and three weeks of followup support to assist in their job search.

Courses will include computer software, marketing and sales, soft skills, COVID-19 health and safety training, human resources and management, project management and accounting. Participants will also receive certification courses in FoodSafe, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System and Serving it Right, as well as basic accounting or hospitality service training.

“Introductory skills training, like the hospitality professional program, has the ability to transform lives of new Canadians while also supporting communities in need of trained employees,” said Danelle Greebe, director of continuing studies and corporate training, Okanagan College.

Funding for this project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training 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 in addressing labour market challenges. CEP invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.

“As B.C.’s tourism industry starts to recover, businesses are working hard to recruit employees. Opportunities like the hospitality professional program are an important part of our work to help businesses and workers get back on their feet,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “B.C.’s tourism sector is second to none because of the people who are committed to providing exceptional experiences to visitors across the province. This program will provide a strong foundation for valuable careers in tourism and hospitality.”

The hospitality professional program project is recruiting eligible applicants living in and around Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Full-time online and classroom learning for the first intake will start on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, and project activities will run until June 17, 2022. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

Learn More:

Learn how CEPs are helping local communities:
www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Learn about how WorkBC can help find British Columbians jobs that are right for them:
www.workbc.ca/rightforyou

Find your local WorkBC centre:
https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/WorkBC-Centres-Listing.aspx

Okanagan College: https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/hospitalityprofessional     

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