Older workers program returns to Fernie college

The College of the Rockies will be reintroducing a training program that targets older workers this spring.

The College of the Rockies will be reintroducing a training program that targets older workers this spring.

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program focuses on providing applicable skills to older workers and even pays applicants for their attendance.

“They’re getting computer instruction, which is the hugest thing for so many people trying to get back into work who may be lacking in that respect,” said Program Coordinator Jenny Gutzman. “They also get everything from self-employment information all the way to life skills, conflict resolution, customer service skills and information across the board they may not have access to.”

The program will run from March 23 until June 26 and includes an income support allowance of up to $1,200 a month plus a separate additional training allowance of $1,200 while taking the course.

Gutzman said the support applicants will receive from the program is “unbelievable.”

“If you don’t have an Employment Insurance (EI) attachment or any other means for an income, it can be hard to get back into training,” noted Gutzman. “[The program] is extremely supportive, it’s geared towards [applicants] age and is financially supportive as well so they don’t have that burden of having to figure out how to pay for that education.”

Applicant hopefuls need to be unemployed, between the ages of 55-64 and live in the local catchment area, which includes Fernie, Jaffray, Elkford and Sparwood.

“In the past we have been amazed at the transformation in the participants from day one to finishing,” said Gutzman of the program’s past success. “So many of them are gainfully employed now and are happy and made so many big changes in their lives.”

Only 12 seats are open for the program. Application packages are available for pick-up and submission at the College of the Rockies in Fernie. The application deadline is March 4.