BCCPA Launches Free Vocational Training Program for Therapeutic Recreation Assistants through Community Workforce Response Grant

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is excited to launch a brand-new vocational training program opportunity for those seeking to pursue careers in seniors’ care as Therapeutic Recreation Assistants (TRAs), thanks to funding provided by the Community Workforce Response Grant (CWRG).

$297,000 will go towards funding BCCPA’s Therapeutic Recreation Assistant (TRA) Training Program pilot, providing 15 individuals with training through Stenberg College’s Therapeutic Recreation (Gerontology) Diploma, an industry recognized curriculum for TRAs. The entire cost of tuition for program participants, as well as additional financial supports for childcare, transportation and other training supports, is covered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the staffing crisis in B.C.’s seniors’ care sector and left many seniors isolated. Allied health care is a key component of supporting seniors to age well and maintain quality of life. Despite strong anticipated demand, there is currently a shortage of qualified TRAs employed in the province.

As a remote focused project, participants have been recruited in regions currently underserved by available TRA training opportunities, including Interior, Island, Northern and Kootenays regions of B.C. BCCPA received strong support from employers across the province looking to fill full-time and part-time TRA employment positions at their organizations.

Training began on May 23, 2022, and participants are expected to graduate from the program in spring 2023. Following the completion of the skills training program, BCCPA will host a hiring fair to connect participating employers and program graduates.

BCCPA is currently exploring additional TRA funding opportunities for the fall and will keep members informed of any future opportunities that become available.

All the best to BCCPA’s first group of TRA students as they begin training in their exciting new seniors’ care career paths!