CLIMB: Continuous Learning for Individuals’ Mid-career and Beyond

Mid-career workers in northern and remote areas of British Columbia are some of the most vulnerable to labour market disruption and also face considerable barriers to retraining and finding new employment.

Northern Lights College developed the CLIMB project to provide mid-career workers in the North and South Peace River Service Region, including Indigenous communities, with structured supports offering information, resources and training to reduce their fears of the unknown and help them make informed mid-career choices and changes. 

Over two years, CLIMB offered more than 200 people a range of supports and personalized skills assessment modules via a dedicated online portal. The training modules tested how digital programs of this nature can help workers overcome barriers to taking more formal training to put them on a path towards upskilling for a new role or career.

The digital tools and training modules helped improve the mindsets of mid-careers workers about the benefits and feasibility of reskilling for new jobs, however, the CLIMB and CLIMB Restart project demonstrated that online tools are not a panacea on their own and should be used to complement to in-person assistance.

Norther College lights campus from outside.

Embarking on a new career is complex and individuals benefited significantly from in-person career and training guidance that helped them better understand their career options and how to choose training that aligned with those goals.

With its target clients, the project also found financial barriers were key in mid-career workers’ decision to take up more formal training. A small increase in the training credit from $100 to $250 offered to workers led to an increase in training uptake and therefore the likelihood they will find something that aligns with their career ambitions.

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