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First College ready to produce registered massage therapists, health-care aides and community support workers

First College creates workers

There are several careers in B.C. that are in high demand at the moment, and that is why First College is doing what it can to fill those gaps and get people jobs as soon as they graduate.

The Kelowna college is now enrolling students in three disciplines that will produce the following ready-to-work employees: registered massage therapists, health-care aides and community support workers.

The RMT program is accepting students for cohorts that will begin on Sept. 6 and Jan. 2. It’s a two-year diploma program that features 2,886 hours of instruction, including 550 hours of hands-on, clinical experience. There is plenty of one-on-one instruction, as class sizes are approximately 20 students.

Only graduates of programs offered by institutions that are registered with and accredited by the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education Agency and recognized by the College of Massage Therapists of BC are eligible to write the registration exams. First College is the only such institution located in Kelowna.

The HCA program is enrolling students for a Sept. 9 start. After the completion of the eight-month program, graduates will receive their diploma and will register with the B.C. Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, which means they can start working right away. The annual provincial median salary is $49,112, according to 2021 Job Bank Wage data.

The CSW program will get going on Sept. 20, and it will consist of 12 months of learning. Graduates will receive their diploma and start to work right away in the community. Some of the potential jobs with a community support worker diploma include:

• child and youth/family support worker
• disability service worker
• immigration service worker
• Indigenous community worker
• adult living/community living
• shelter support worker
• restorative justice worker
• child development program worker
• shelter diversion worker
• youth services programs
• residential worker

First College would also like to remind the public that it houses an RMT-supervised student clinic that operates five days a week, offering affordable relaxation, therapeutic and hydrotherapy massage treatments to the public as well as outreach programs within the community.

The clinic is open every Monday from 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The massages started at $30 per hour.

If you would like more information about these programs or others, visit the First College website here, or contact admissions advisor Gary Jiao at (778) 754-2888 or [email protected].

Potential students are also invited to visit the downtown Kelowna campus at 532 Leon Ave. on the second floor.

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