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More social and community service workers will serve people on Lower Mainland

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:57 PST, Mon November 28, 2022

As many as 30 eligible British Columbians will receive skills training to prepare them for employment as social and community service workers.

"I know from my experience in the social services sector that this kind of training is vital to ensuring qualified professionals will be available to help people in our communities thrive," said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. "Graduates of the program will be able to train and work on the Lower Mainland where there are opportunities for rewarding employment with a range of community agencies."

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction's Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project focuses on providing occupational training and work experience for newcomers, youth, and people experiencing barriers to employment on the Lower Mainland.

The province is providing more than $350,000 to the Afro Canadian Positive Network in Surrey to work with its partner Discovery Community College to deliver its social and community services certificate.

Participants will receive 20 weeks of employability and occupational skills training including certification in social and community service worker certificate, three weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers, and two weeks of followup support to prepare participants for their job search as social and community support workers.

"This training program is a great opportunity for more people to gain the skills and experience needed to become social workers and community service workers in the region," said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. "By increasing training and work experience opportunities, we are making sure people have the right skills they need to secure employment in this critical field of work."

Full-time group-based learning for the first intake of this project starts Nov. 28. The second intake will start in January 2023. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

"We are working with industry partners to offer training that provides more people with opportunities to advance in their careers," said Patience Magagula, executive director, Afro Canadian Positive Network Society. "The program will provide students the framework they need so that they're ready to enter the job market."

Funding for this project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC's CEP. CEP investments are targeted at projects that support an inclusive economic recovery. CEP projects support B.C. job seekers' training and work experience and help businesses and communities address labour market challenges. Through CEP, the province invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.

This announcement is part of StrongerBC's Future Ready plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable, and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

To learn how CEPs are helping local communities, visit

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