College offers older workers a ticket back into the workaday world

By David F. Rooney

If you’re an older — and unemployed — worker wondering how you can get back into the workaday world the Okanagan College has the right program for you.

A brand-new program called Experience Works is being unveiled this fall for men women between the ages of 55 and 64 who need to update their skills to meet the demands of a modern workplace.

“In a lot of ways this is aimed at workers from industries that have faced big layoffs in recent years,” says the college’s program coordinator, Mary Kline.

Take someone who has worked in forestry for most of their adult life. The chances are that person lacks the kind of basic computer skills and other attributes that can help them find work outside the forestry industry, she said.

The Experience Works program offers computer training, employability workshops, personal and career planning assistance, and certificates in, among other areas, Occupational First Aid Level 1, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Airbrakes and Foodsafe.

Offered through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, this federal-provincial program offers funding for all training as well as a living allowance. Students will also receive help finding paid work experience, Kline said, adding that the college is seeking partners in the local business community who are willing to help out in this regard.

Although this full-time course is intended for workers in the 55-64 age bracket, exceptions can be made for individuals as young as 50 and for people over 65, she said.

For more information about the Experience Works program please call 250-837-4235 or go to Okanagan College on the World Wide Web.