More students are signing for post secondary education after seeing job loss

Job loss leads to education

Casey Richardson

Sprott Shaw College in Penticton is seeing more students join their online education platform, taking an opportunity to go for a new career as they continue facing having their hours cut and possible job loss.

“If you’re downsized or you’re sitting at home because of the pandemic taking away what you were used to, what a perfect opportunity to look at a new career, to look at a new future for you, to look into areas where you’ve always wanted to go but you got stuck in the rut,” Zola Goebel, the director of the Penticton campus for Sprott Shaw College said.

Usually, the program has looked at waitresses, retail workers, minimum wage earners facing employment challenges for education in a different career field, but instead has had an increase of people that were just ready to sign up.

“We are seeing a lot of people taking the opportunity through having lost their jobs or their jobs being downsized because of COVID, now taking that opportunity to now go back to school and maybe take some training to be whatever it is they always wanted to be.”

Health care assistants, practical nursing, community support workers and early childhood assistants are currently the most popular programs, seeing high demand for workers once they graduate.

“They’re walking out of the college and into jobs, where there’s still jobs available during this pandemic.”

Goebel added that they could still use more people joining their program for early childhood educators, however.

The college is running a mix of online education courses and in-person practicums and labs.

“For the nursing student, the HCA and the early childhood educators they are able to come into the labs in smaller groups, following our COVID programs, to get their hands-on experience that they require as part of their program,” Goebel said.

Most students are working on-site at the end of their program with a possible future employer for the practicum, although a few have been put on hold.

“We cannot thank our community partners enough for the practicum placements that they open up to our students.”

For more information on Sprott Shaw College and their programs, visit the website here.

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