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Training funding of $700,000 means 200 Camosun students to learn in-demand job skills

Camosun received confirmation this week of up to $700,000 in Employment Skills Access funding to train eligible clients in a number of targeted programs.

Lois O'Hara

Martin Lluis-O’Hare completed the Web Foundations certificate program, one of the programs funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.

Employment Skills Access (ESA) is an initiative of the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation intended to help unemployed and under-employed people access training in local public post-secondary institutes in order to strengthen job-specific skills in challenging economic times. ESA is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.

This week’s announcement provides funding for year three of the ESA programs at Camosun. In years one and two, the college prepared 174 clients to be job-ready. This year’s funding will provide skills upgrading and training for up to an additional 200 people between now and July 2012.

Wendy Magahay is the coordinator of Contract Training at Camosun, and has oversight for ESA at the college. “This funding announcement means we can continue working with unemployed individuals to help them build skills toward meaningful employment,” says Magahay. “In many instances, I hear from past students that this is life-changing learning.”

“The whole experience was positive,” says Heidi Bealing. “I completed the ESA program, and found immediate employment in the health sector. Taking the ESA program at Camosun allowed me to further my education, and I’m so grateful!”

Individuals may be considered eligible for ESA if they are unemployed with no regular employment insurance claim in the past three years, and no maternity/paternity claim in the past five years, or if they are employed but low-skilled without any recognized certification or post-secondary-level education.

Camosun currently has funded programs in three key areas: construction building careers for Aboriginal workers, foundations training for the maritime industry, and a section called Automated Office for website development, MS-Office skills and project management certification.

“Three upcoming programs highlight the breadth of opportunities,” says Magahay. “Pre-entry Nautical Foundations starts in November, followed by Aboriginal House Design Using AutoCAD in January. We’re also working with Vancouver Island University and North Island College on an island-wide First Nations’ Leadership program we will be offering this fall.”

Magahay invites people interested in these or other ESA programs to contact her office for more information or to book an appointment to discuss eligibility. Call 250-370-4790 or

Wendy Magahay
Coordinator, Contract Training
Camosun College
T: 250-370-4790 or 250-370-4786
E: or

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Last updated: September 29, 2011 5:38 pm

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