Industrial Sewing Training Will Prepare British Columbians for New Jobs

Updated: Aug 31

Press Release


This news release was issued by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction of British Columbia August 11, 2022.



Professional skills training is helping as many as 45 people become industrial sewing machine operators in the Lower Mainland.


This new provincially funded Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project focuses on training immigrants, youth and people with barriers to employment.


“We’re investing in training to help people become industrial sewing machine operators so local clothing manufacturers have the skilled labour they need to keep their operations running smoothly,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “People who complete their training will gain technical skills that qualify them for rewarding careers.”


The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is providing more than $600,000 to North West Industries Association (NWIA) to train people in three intakes to the industrial sewing training program.


“Our government is helping more young people and British Columbians facing barriers to employment to access technical training such as industrial sewing,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “In addition, there are many small- and medium-sized businesses that are looking for workers with the right mix of skills, so this investment in education and training will ensure employers continue to thrive.”


Participants will receive 11 weeks of occupational, employability and essential skills training; six weeks of work experience with local employers; and two weeks of followup support to assist in their job search. Participants will receive in-demand skills and industry-recognized certification to secure employment in opportunities across the manufacturing sector. In addition, participants will gain English language skills and communication and computer literacy skills to help them adapt to new working environments and connect with co-workers.


“The program has been very successful to date, and the diversity of participants reflects the uniqueness of the apparel industry in B.C.,” said Thomas Foreman, director and founding member of NWIA. “We look forward to continuing this partnership, providing opportunities within this exciting sector, and equipping the next generation of sewing machine operators with the skills needed to succeed.”


The first intake of full-time, group-based classroom learning started on May 30, 2022, and runs until Oct. 7, 2022. The second intake starts Aug. 15, 2022, and runs until Dec. 23, 2022. The third intake begins Dec. 5, 2022, and runs until April 14, 2023. Anyone interested in learning more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.


Quick Facts:

  • Funding for this project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC’s CEP.

  • CEP investments are targeted at projects that support an inclusive economic recovery.

  • CEP projects support B.C. job seekers’ training and work experience and help businesses and communities address labour market challenges.

  • The Province invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C. through CEPs.

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