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Free training for community support workers at First College

To foster a welcoming and inclusive environment on campus for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, First College hosted an LGBTQ celebration on Sept 24, 2020. Many students, staff and faculty members wore the rainbow or colourful clothing and shared their stories and support.

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 is why First College is offering a 12-month CSW diploma program that 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.

(L to R): Sherwan Thomas, student advisor; Jessie Zhang, IT service advisor; Denise Bryson, faculty of health co-ordinator; Alexandria Krause, academic advisor; Timothy Yang, First College director.

After the completion of the 12-month CSW program at First College, 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.

To assist in rebuilding the lives of individuals who have been affected by COVID-19, the WorkBC Community Work Force Grant has been approved for the September 2021 CSW cohort, allowing students to study and explore a new career path without having to worry about their financial resources.

“The upcoming September 2021 cohort is fully supported with funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement, with a total of 12 available seats,” First College director Timothy Yang says. “The program will take place from September 21, 2021, to September 16, 2022, three days a week course load from Wednesday to Friday.”

According to 2020 Job Bank wage data, the annual provincial median salary is $43,798, and the annual provincial high salary is $60,441.

According to the B.C. Labour Market Outlook: 2019 edition, there will be 11,030 job openings for community support workers in B.C. from 2019 to 2029, with 1,280 expected to be in the Thompson Okanagan area.

If you would like to know more detailed information about the CSW program as well as the eligibility requirements for this funding, please see the First College website at firstcollege.ca/csw or contact academic advisor Alexandria Krause at (778) 478-6611 or alexandria.krause@firstcollege.ca.

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