By Steve Hubrecht

Pioneer Staff

The local College of the Rockies will be bringing back its training program for older workers thanks to a funding influx.

The Target Initiative for Older Workers program last ran at the college in 2013, but with the local Invermere campus of the college having recently received federal and provincial funding to help run it again, the program will start up once more this March.

This program is for people who are currently aged 55 to 64, although we may take people younger or older than that, usually who are unemployed because they are in a transition phase of their life or are looking for a new career direction, said the programs co-ordinator, Michelle Taylor. For instance, if youve been a painter or a drywaller your whole life, but youre finding its just a bit too hard on your body now, and want to retrain for a new type of job.

The latest version of the course will run for 14 weeks, from mid-March to late June, Mondays through Thursdays, at the college. The first ten weeks of the course are class-based and the last four involve a job placement.

We do a lot of computer skills training, about 108 hours or more, in the class portion, said Ms. Taylor adding its not uncommon for the programs students to be completely unfamiliar with computers. Skills covered include file management, use of Microsoft Office and related programs, social media, emailing, Internet and more.

We also do a lot of job search skills, resume development, interviewing skills and networking, said Ms. Taylor.

The course also focuses on work place skills, communication, customer service, leadership skills, identifying desired career paths, as well as a component on life skills and self-improvement.

The great thing about this program is there is no cost to the participant, said Ms. Taylor, adding that not only is the course free, but also participants are eligible for an income support allowance up to $1,200 a month as well as a separate additional training allowance up to $1,200 a month while taking the course.

They get a huge bang for their buck. This is an amazing opportunity, said Ms. Taylor.

I found the program great; it really helped get me back on track, said past program participant Dennis Klim.

There is space for 12 participants in this years edition of the program. Those interested need to fill out an application form and go through an interview process.

To find out more, call the college at 250-342-3210, drop by, (next to David Thompson Secondary School) or email invermere@cotr.bc.ca.