Think Local  

Free training made possible by Community Workforce Response Grant

Grant allows free education

First College received funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement for the Health Care Assistant (HCA) program as well as the Community Support Worker (CSW) Program, with 24 available seats in each program.

The past year has brought many challenges, and many people have had to adapt or learn new skills in order to find steady employment, but out of upheaval can come new opportunities, and many are considering this a good time to pursue studies in a new field.

That’s why First College is offering the eight-month Health Care Assistant Program that enables the students to develop the essential skills to function as front-line caregivers of the health-care team. Graduates will be fully competent and confident in performing skills in a variety of settings, including health-care facilities, private community agencies and individual homes. The annual provincial median salary is $45,883, according to 2020 Job Bank Wage data.

The 12-month CSW diploma program offered at First College enables students to assist clients who are dealing with multiple persistent barriers, including social and economic challenges, addiction, abuse, chronic health conditions, grief and loss, and many other issues and needs. The value that community support workers bring to the interdisciplinary, community-based service programs is evidenced by the ever-increasing demand for qualified community support workers in the field of human services.

After the completion of the program, graduates will receive their diploma and start to work right away in our local community. A career in community or social services means a variety of jobs in various fields, including disability and special need services, mental health agencies, addiction and substance abuse, family support services, child and youth services, and other services specializing in physical, mental and social development. According to 2020 Job Bank wage data, the annual provincial median salary is $43,798, and the annual provincial high salary is $60,441.

To assist in rebuilding the lives of individuals who have been affected by COVID-19, the WorkBC Community Workforce Response Grant has been approved for the January 2022 HCA and CSW cohort, allowing students to study and explore a new career path without having to worry about their financial resources.

The HCA program will take place from Jan. 21, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2022, with classes three days a week, from Monday to Wednesday. The CSW program will take place from Jan. 4, 2022, to Dec. 16, 2022, with two and half days of classes a week, from Monday to Wednesday.

First College also has its student massage clinic open to public for the fall 2021 term. The clinic is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Bookings can be made up to three weeks in advance. A wide selection of treatments are available for the client including relaxation massage, therapeutic massage, infrared sauna with relaxation massage, paraffin hand treatment with relaxation massage, and paraffin foot treatment and relaxation massage. First College also offers six free chair massage appointments every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you would like to know more detailed information about the funded HCA and the CSW program, or if you would like to book a massage appointment, visit the First College website at firstcollege.ca or contact the Student Service Department at (778) 478-6611 or [email protected].

More Think Local articles