THE JOB of helping people find jobs continues to shift in B.C.
Once the preserve of the federal government through agencies such as Canada Employment Centres, matching people with jobs has now almost completely fallen to the provincial government and it has contracted out the task to companies throughout the province.
In Terrace and area, that job as of this year is being done by a local firm, Northwest Training Ltd., under the name WorkBC from offices on Greig Ave.
It’s not a completely new task for Northwest Training but the focus has expanded, says Lynn Hughes, one of the principals of Northwest Training.
“What the province has done is take all of its employment programs and has put them under one umbrella, WorkBC,” said Hughes.
Northwest Training has had contracts for some of those programs and now, with WorkBC, it has either taken on others or struck partnerships with other agencies to handle specific tasks.
“We had been doing 75 per cent of this work already,” Hughes said.
The list of services now under Northwest Training’s WorkBC effort include items as basic as faxing resumes to learning how to write resumes to providing short or longer term training.
Another Northwest Training official, Lorna Sandhals, said the emphasis is providing a direct as possible connection between someone who needs assistance and the assistance itself.
Having Northwest Training being involved already in employment assistance has helped, she added.
“We know what the client needs are here,” Sandhals noted.
“It’s nice to be able to make a decision and do what’s needed for our clients.”
As an entity, Northwest Training has been in existence since 1989, two years after its sister agency, Northwest Counselling was formed.
The staffing complement numbers 16 and Northwest Training has a five-year contract with the provincial government for WorkBC.
The contract is directly with the province and its length allows for stability and quality assurance, say Sandhals and Hughes.
Previous contracts have been through southern-based companies who in turn had contracts with the province.