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New skills training program for persons with disabilities

Kopar Administration has announced a new skills training program for persons with disabilities with a focus on carpentry and construction skills in Prince George.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, this free program is looking to assist individuals with a self-disclosed disability who are looking for training in the carpentry and construction industries. Individuals in the program will gain hands-on experience utilizing power tools and hand tools to make various wood constructed items ranging from planter boxes, bird and bat houses to Adirondack chairs and other small items.

Under the tutelage of construction supervisors, individuals in the program will be given instruction on the safe operation of all the equipment and tools. Participants in the program will also receive their own PPE (hard hat, hi-vis vest, steel toed boots, etc) and some necessary personal tools that they will get to take with them after the end of the program. While in the program, participants will also earn an hourly stipend commensurate with the minimum wage. This four-week program operates from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and exact hours worked will be dependent upon each individual’s need and capacity.

At the end of the four weeks, Kopar will work with each individual to assist them in securing employment. Employers who hire participants may be eligible for a wage subsidy for up to eight weeks. This wage subsidy will cover $15.20/hr to employers, any wages above $15.20/hr are the responsibility of the employer along with Mandatory employer related costs.

“This program provides individuals who have been one of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic an ability to learn some skills in an industry that is growing and in high demand for workers,” said Ken Newell, Kopar’s operations manager. “It is an unique opportunity for the industry to look to a demographic that is normally overlooked but may be able to assist with the increasing demand for labourers. With the wage subsidy in place, employers are really in a win-win situation that can create openings for our clients.”

Applications for the program are being accepted now. The sessions will have limited seats available to accommodate for each individual, maintain a safe space following COVID-19 restrictions, and to ensure each individual is provided with a large amount of hands-on experience with each piece of equipment. The first session is scheduled to start on Nov 1, 2021. For more information or to register for the program call Kopar at 250-596-2517 to arrange an interview.

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