The Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce has received $140,000 in funding for delivery of the Prep Chef Certificate program by North Island College through the Community Workforce Response Grant program.
The funding was provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement, according to a news release.
“It’s huge for our local hospitality industry,” said Kim Burden, the chamber’s executive director.
The training provides people with skills and knowledge required to work in commercial kitchens, where numerous vacancies exist in local restaurants and food service providers. That will help get the local tourism sector re-established in time for summer 2023, according to Burden.
“And secondly, and perhaps the really big news,” Burden said. “Is that because of this funding we have been able to attract the Dean of Trades at North Island College to consider our community as an additional area of operations for their programs and such recognition is a significant achievement for the work of our Chamber.”
Winter driving can make commuting difficult to Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and North Island College campuses in Courtenay, Campbell River and Port Alberni, Burden added, so offering the course closer to home should help break down some barriers for people looking to enter the trades as a career.
“We’re pleased to say we qualified for this funding due to strong support from a number of local restaurants that supported it in writing, and also from our MLA, Adam Walker, who personally worked on our behalf in Victoria to get it approved in a timely fashion. It’s a true example of a community working together to get a job done,” he said.
More information can be found by contacting North Island College directly via email at email@example.com.
— NEWS Staff, submitted