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NEWS RELEASE · 21st May 2010
Ministry of Advanced Education
Hundreds of older British Columbians in our most vulnerable communities will gain new skills and new employment opportunities with 23 new projects offered through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) program, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Moira Stilwell announced today.

"This program for older workers is another example of how the provincial and federal governments are working together to help British Columbians gain new training and skills," said Stilwell. "It is important to provide the necessary training so all workers can participate and be part of our labour force."

The TIOW is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared program to help unemployed workers, primarily those aged 55 to 64 and living in communities affected by high unemployment. New projects announced today will deliver a range of employment and skills training in 30 communities for close to 800 older British Columbians. Through the TIOW, individuals can get the skills they need to find and keep new jobs, or start their own business.

"It is essential that all Canadians have the opportunity to contribute to the Canadian economy," said the Honourable Diane Finley. "Canadian workers are the backbone of our economy and it is important that our experienced workers in the labour force have the opportunity to update their skills so they continue to contribute to the economy."

Since 2008, over 1,700 British Columbians in more than 30 communities have been assisted through the TIOW. In August 2009, Canada and British Columbia extended the TIOW initiative to March 31, 2012 with funding of $30 million. With projects announced today, over $21 million of this funding has now been committed to helping B.C.'s older workers.

In 2009-10, over 25,000 British Columbians benefited from more than 25 different employment and skills training programs funded as a result of the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Agreement, the Strategic Training and Transition Fund and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program, helping to meet the needs of British Columbia's labour market.