Federal funding to train older workers

A $175,000 joint provincial and federal initiative will help 15 unemployed, older aboriginal workers in Red Deer brush up on their skills in order to re-enter the workforce.

A $175,000 joint provincial and federal initiative will help 15 unemployed, older aboriginal workers in Red Deer brush up on their skills in order to re-enter the workforce.

On Tuesday, the two governments announced the funding for the Programming for Older Workers Project under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. The program is designed to help workers between the ages of 55 and 64 develop their employability skills, enter in work placements and develop skills for sustainable employment.

Earl Dreeshan, MP for Red Deer, said the project looks at opportunities for retraining, transitional training and increasing skill level.

Dreehsan said much of the project is already underway and now the money is flowing through to make it all work.

“The key aspect is to take basic training that they have got, and get out to work out in the community and practise some of the things they have learned,” said Dreeshan. “Here we are with those who are 55 and above will take a look at this and say there’s still a lot I can contribute. I need new challenges and take some of the skills I have learned and applied in other areas.”

The initiative is part of the federal government’s Economic Action Plan. It was launched in 2006 with a $70-million commitment and another $90 million in 2008 to extend the initiative until this March. To date, the project has helped 16,000 unemployed older workers across Canada.

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