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Media release: office assistants training for in-demand jobs

Posted on December 17, 2015

VANCOUVER – Up to 30 local people are getting classroom training and work experience as in-demand office administrative assistant workers, as a result of nearly $250,000 in provincial funding for Vancouver Community College (VCC).

Fifteen people have already begun training in general office administration and another 15 will be trained in medical administration. Participants attend 16 weeks of classroom training at VCC where general office administration participants learn about report writing, office procedures and records management, office software, payroll and meeting minutes taking. Medical administration participants will learn medical terminology, billing, medical documentation and First Aid so they can work in medical offices.

After the classroom work, learners receive four weeks of on-the-job experience at offices around Vancouver, then four weeks of job search support. This program is geared to people who may face barriers to employment but is not exclusive to them. The first group of participants includes immigrants, youth, persons with disabilities, single mothers and three people over age 55. All graduates of the program will receive Office Administrative Assistant certification, or Medical Office Assistant certification.

The project wraps up in May 2016.

Project-Based Labour Market Training helps groups of people with on- or off-the-job employment training and is a component of Community and Employer Partnerships, which were introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.

To date, more than 900 job seekers have benefited from work experience and 195 projects have been funded throughout the province.

B.C. has reached a tipping point with fewer young people entering the workforce than older workers leaving it. That is why, through the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is re-engineering education and training programs towards a data-driven system ensuring that investment decisions align with the needs of our rapidly changing labour market so that more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs.

The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.


Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –

“Community and Employer Partnerships like this provide both work experience and classroom training that gives unemployed people valuable job skills that can lead to satisfying, sustainable employment. This project will provide up to 30 people who may be facing barriers to employment with the skills they need to succeed in our growing economy.”

Sam Sullivan, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek –

Vancouver, like a lot of B.C. communities, needs well-trained office workers. It’s an in-demand job that offers excellent career opportunities. I wish these workers the very best of success as they get ready to launch their careers.”

Kathryn McNaughton, vice-president academic, students and research, Vancouver Community College (VCC) –

“VCC is proud to work with the provincial government and to be a part of these students’ lives as they embark on their new careers. We have all the supports students need for success: caring faculty, practical learning, arranged practicums and job search. And, VCC’s student outcomes for landing jobs are among the highest in the province.”

Amanda, project participant –

“This program is such an unexpected chance of a lifetime opportunity and I'm so glad I'm able to take part in it. Since money is kind of tight right now I didn't think I'd be able to go back to school to ultimately get my dream job. But thanks to this funded class, here I am. I have little experience in the office and this program is very informative. The teachers are great, knowledgeable, and patient. Even though I have to wake up at 6 a.m. to travel to class every day, I still don't regret my decision to sign up.”

Rita, project participant –

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this new program at VCC. The course design is well-suited for someone like myself who is striving to transition back into an office position after being out of that environment for some years. I feel that with the up-to-date training, and particularly the certificate of completion, any participant in the program will have no trouble finding the job that they have been looking for. I personally feel confident that I will succeed in finding the career that I choose upon graduation.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
  • Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
    • Job Creation Partnerships
    • Labour Market Partnerships
    • Project-Based Labour Market Training
    • Research and Innovation

Who is eligible?

  • Businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
  • Bands/tribal councils
  • Public health and educational institutions

Learn More:

For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships:

For more information about Vancouver Community College:

Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation:

For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint:

To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: