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Program aims to assist local residents without recent work experience
Entering the workforce can be especially challenging for those who have been away from work for a number of years or have never held employment.
To help such people, a free and comprehensive 10-week program is being offered in Osoyoos starting Oct. 7.
The Open Door Group, a non-profit organization, is offering the Job OptionsBC: Osoyoos program. The project is funded through a contract with the provincial government. Classes are seven hours a day, five days a week.
“The Job Options program is for people who are looking for help getting back to work,” said Melanie Guza, site manager for Oliver and Osoyoos with the Open Door Group. “It’s primarily for people that may be new to the workforce or have been out of the workforce for several years.”
To be eligible, you must be aged 18 or over, and you must not have had an Employment Insurance claim in the last three years or a maternity or paternity claim in the past five years. Students are also not eligible.
Guza said the kinds of circumstances that might lead a person to need this program are if they’ve been out of the workforce to raise a family, for health reasons or other personal circumstances.
The program helps people to prepare for a job search and looks at career exploration in the initial five weeks.
The classroom training also looks at such things as workplace expectations and workplace communication.
At the same time, a job developer will try to find work experience placements in the community for course participants.
“The next five weeks the aim is to help everybody get a paid work experience placement,” said Guza. “It’s beneficial for them to get that experience, and hopefully that experience placement will continue beyond the five weeks.”
The job developer also is available to help if any participants have issues with their work placements. They provide continuing support.
Sometimes employers come in and speak so that participants can find out from employers exactly what they’re looking for and how to be successful on the job, Guza said.
The program has helped people into a range of employment opportunities, but hospitality, tourism, entry level trades, sales and service are some of the typical areas, she added, noting that the time of year is more difficult for tourism positions currently.
A training allowance is provided to participants over the first five weeks.
Classes take place at the Open Door Group office in Osoyoos, which is at the WorkBC Employment Service Centre, #4 – 9150 Main St. Those wanting more information or to register can phone 250-498-2911 or email: email@example.com.