Construction training pilot to focus on Prince Rupert and Kitimat in the northwest

A provincial program to take people off of welfare and place them in northern construction jobs will be focusing on Prince Rupert.

A provincial program to take people off of welfare and place them in northern construction jobs will be focusing on Kitimat and Prince Rupert in the northwest and on Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson and Fort St. John in the northeast.

The plan, described as a pilot one for now, is to find and train 250 people overall with the expectation that at least 60 per cent of the recruits be on social assistance.

The BC Construction Association, which represents approximately 2,000 companies, has been hired to do the training thanks to a $2.92 million budget, explains jobs ministry official Andy Watson in an email.

Depending on the success of the pilot, it is hoped this initiative can be expanded to other communities in need starting sometime in the new year,” wrote Watson.

There’s going to be a formal evaluation of the pilot program in November.

The program, called Job Match, was heavily criticized when first proposed in the spring as being an attempt by the province to place southern welfare recipients in northern jobs.

Called Welfare Air by its detractors, the provincial NDP said provincial programs should first concentrate on training northern residents for northern jobs.

The pilot program’s emphasis is on placing northern residents first in northern jobs.

Only in the event that a job opening cannot be filled by an individual in northern B.C. would relocation from another part of the province be considered,” Watson wrote.

The level of support that will be provided to an individual relocating to fill a job opening will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. One of the objectives of this pilot initiative is to determine what people need, and what a reasonable level of support to provide is.”

Two weeks ago the provincial government announced it would spend $17 million on skills training.

Approximately $5 million of that is to come to northern post secondary school institutions but how much will end up at Northwest Community College is unknown.

Monthly jobless figures so far this year place the rate in the northwest in the 12 per cent range, nearly double the provincial average.

That’s despite large industrial projects now already underway in the region and more being planned.

Just Posted

Port Edward and CN to talk about double tracks

District council met on May 22 announcing construction timeline for seniors housing

Black bear carcass dumped on Mount Hays

Complaints made to Conservation Office about the body of a bear on the public road in Prince Rupert

Season ending golf day

Peewee rep Seawolves held a year-end celebration at the Prince Rupert golf club May 17

Rock Stock returns to Lester Centre for 8th year

Annual show and fundraiser will contribute money to Lester Centre equipment

Hope in the Darkness departs from Prince Rupert

The second leg of the 3,000 kilometre journey departed along Highway 16 on May 17

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

Barkerville opens for the season

Highlights of Barkerville’s upcoming season include 150th Dominion Day and pack train re-creation

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Supreme Court rules social housing residents in B.C. deserve rights too

Tenants trying to stabilize their living situations should not face less legal rights than those paying market rates: Judge

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by owners

Most Read