$2.8 million for North Vancouver Island skills training

As part of “Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan”, the provincial government is investing over $2.8 million in eight new skills training programs on the North Island. The programs are part of the Employment Skills Access Initiative (ESA).

Why this matters:

l Through ESA, eligible British Columbians are provided with tuition-free, group-based training at public, post-secondary institutions to prepare them for entry or re-entry into the labour force.

l ESA training programs are primarily focused on preparing participants for entry-level employment in industries, sectors or occupations that are currently experiencing, or are projected to experience, labour or skills shortages.

“North Island College and VIU have always been leaders when it comes to our post-secondary institutions. This funding means more people will be able to acquire the skills they need to land good-paying jobs in the future,” said Don McRae, MLA Comox Valley

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education said, “Higher education is key to our province’s growth and prosperity as we develop the workers of the future. Under the BC Jobs Plan, we’re working with our quality post-secondary institutions to increase learning and employment opportunities, building the foundation for a stronger economy.”

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation said, “This program is another example of our commitment to enhance skills training throughout the province as we work to build an increasingly skilled workforce to meet present and future labour market demands and to provide British Columbians with access to new employment opportunities.”

Additional Information:

l ESA programs are funded within government’s existing fiscal plan.

l Training programs provided through ESA must be at least three weeks in duration, to a maximum of 12 months, with an emphasis on programs that provide participants with provincially or industry-recognized credentials.

l For occupations with established provincial standards for training and certification, training programs must follow and meet those standards.

l Participants in the ESA programs must be unemployed individuals who have not established an Employment Insurance claim in the past three years, or five years in the case of maternity/parental leave.

l The Employment Skills Access Initiative is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA).

Learn More:


l Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan:

l Skills for Growth, British Columbia’s labour market strategy to 2020:

l Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement:






Employment Skills Access Initiative

$2.8M for North Vancouver Island skills training


North Island College

·        $271,669 – Carpentry Access, 14 participants. This 39-week program is designed for participants with limited experience who have a desire to work in the field and are seeking the fundamental skills to pursue entry-level carpentry positions. Note: participant intake for this program has now closed.

·        $940,362 – Woodland Harvesting Certificate Program, 42 participants. This program provides participants with the skills needed for employment in the forestry sector. Note: participant intake for this program has now closed.

·        $323,028 – Underground Mining, 24 participants. This four-month program delivers occupational-based skills in underground mining.

·        $386,481 – Integrated Core Resources Skills Training, 60 participants. This eight-week program offers the skills necessary to enter the utility supply chain, natural resources and wildland wildfire sectors.

·        For more information about North Island College’s training programs, phone Cheryl O’Connell at (250) 923-9721


Vancouver Island University

·        $192,840 – Shellfish Aquaculture Technician, 42 participants. This six-week program prepares students for employment in the shellfish aquaculture industry with training in the development and operation of a shellfish farming enterprise.

·        $151,500 – Marine Operator Training, 48 participants. This three-week program offers the skills to meet the standards of the marine industry and Transport Canada for the operation of commercial vessels.

·        $225,985 – Introduction to the Culinary Arts, 48 participants. This 12-week program offers the skills needed to fill entry-level culinary and food service positions.

·        For more information about Vancouver Island University’s training programs, please visit


Labour Market Consortium (North Island College, Vancouver Island University, Camosun College)

·        $372,913 – Leadership and Capacity Building Skills for First Nations Communities, 96 participants. This program provides skills-oriented training for First Nations participants to enable them to meet the leadership and management needs of their communities.  For more information about this training program, phone Cheryl O’Connell at (250) 923-9721.

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