Photo of Heritage Community College program grads posted to B.C. government’s website. (news.gov.bc.ca)

Photo of Heritage Community College program grads posted to B.C. government’s website. (news.gov.bc.ca)

Surrey college ramps up health-care assistant training with $437,000 in gov’t funding

Heritage Community College to train eligible immigrants through CEP project

Operators of a Newton-area community college welcome $437,000 in B.C. government funding to train immigrants for jobs as community health-care assistants in the Lower Mainland.

The funding, announced Friday (Dec. 11) by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, will allow Surrey’s Heritage Community College to deliver skills and certification courses in two simultaneous intakes of its Community Health Care Assistant Program.

Full-time, group-based classroom sessions for up to 32 students start Monday (Dec. 14), will completion next October.

It’s part of a new Community and Employer Partnership (CEP) project from the provincial government, and is intended for immigrants.

“Heritage Community College is grateful to collaborate with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to offer fully funded training to eligible candidates through this CEP project,” Tanveer Dhesi, director of Heritage Community College, said in a news release.

“Students are able to complete their training free of cost and give back to their community as health-care professionals. This training program is especially relevant during these difficult times of COVID-19.”

Participants will receive 28 weeks of “occupational, employability and life-skills training, eight weeks of on-the-job work experience and six weeks follow-up support to assist in their job search,” along with additional training, according to the news release.

Anyone interested in finding out more about this and other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC Centre.

WorkBC’s CEP programs “aim is to increase employment and work experience opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through leveraging local community partnerships, shared information, technology and innovative practices.”

Many qualified people struggle to find good-paying jobs when they arrive in Canada, even though they have degrees and certifications from their countries of origin, said Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers.

“Heritage Community College provides newcomers the training and qualifications they need to find sustainable, well-paying jobs in the health-care sector, so they can support themselves and their families.”

Meantime, there’s a shortfall of qualified community health-care assistants and personal-support workers in B.C. at the moment, according to Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

“This project will provide individuals with the skills and experience they need to secure good-paying jobs. At the same time, it will provide support and care to those British Columbians who need them the most.”

Heritage Community College is located on 128th Street, in the Payall Business Centre.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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