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Training funding of over $900,000 means 234 Camosun clients learn in-demand job skills.

October 25, 2012

Camosun College will receive up to $943,000 in Employment Skills Access funding to train eligible clients in six targeted job-readiness programs. Over $611,000 has been directly awarded to Camosun and additional funding will come through partnerships with Vancouver Island University, North Island College and Capilano University.

Employment Skills Access (ESA) is a provincial initiative of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training intended to help those unemployed to access training in local public post-secondary institutes to strengthen their job-specific skills in challenging economic times. The provincial government recently announced $18.7 million in ESA funding through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.

This will be the fourth year Camosun has provided training under the ESA program. Over the past three years, the college prepared 384 clients to be job-ready. This year's funding will provide tuition-free skills upgrading and training for up to 234 more people between now and July 2013.

"This funding means Camosun can continue working with unemployed individuals to equip them with in-demand work skills and recognized certifications to find meaningful employment," says Shelley Gilmour, ESA Program Coordinator at Camosun. "In many instances, we hear from past clients about how ESA training has changed their lives."

"I can hardly believe it is true," says student Mona Byrne. "After completing Camosun's MS Office Fast-Track Employment Skills Access Program I got a permanent job with Scotia Bank as a Customer Service Representative. My biggest worry right now is that I have to go shopping for clothes so that I will look the part. That's a great problem to have."

Individuals may be considered eligible for an ESA funded program if they are unemployed and have not had an employment insurance claim in the past three years or a maternity/paternity claim in the past five years.

Building on the strength and breadth of its regular program offerings, Camosun is offering six ESA training programs this year linked to current regional labour market demands: retail and hospitality; pre-entry nautical; building custodial services;MS Office and enhanced workplace skills; foundations in website design and First Nations leadership and capacity building.

For more details on each of these ESA training programs, visit Camosun’s Back-to-work webpage, or book an appointment to discuss eligibility. Call 250-370-4790 or email


Shelley Gilmour, Program Coordinator
Camosun College
250– h370–4790 or 250-370-4786 or

Employment Skills Access program sponsors.

Last updated: November 2, 2012 11:20 am

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