Local News

BCGW combats uncertainty in the workforce for mature adults with program launch

Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg

Photo by: Business Centre Guelph-Wellington

Adults aged 55 and older in the workforce are facing new challenges on their career paths, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Business Centre Guelph-Wellington (BCGW) is hoping to help those facing these challenges with their program launch, the Skills at Work: 55+.

Kristel Manes, executive director of the BCGW says the Skills at Work program is offered at no cost, thanks to it being funded through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“So, what it entails is helping to support entrepreneurs that are 50 plus that are interested in starting a business, or maybe they’ve already started a business, and what we do is sort of mentor them through the process,” Manes said.

Manes says if you’ve already started a business then they would help you find your focus and see what areas you need to grow in.

“So, we have one-on-one mentoring, you can take some workshops with us, and they actually would work with one of our advisors, and we kind of work with them over a 4-6-month period,” she said.

She says for businesses that are just starting out, they would make sure you are familiar with everything you need to know when opening one.

Manes says before COVID-19 they were set to launch the Skills at Work program.

“But what we realized very quickly is that we kept in touch with the people that were interested in the program, and we were finding that the numbers were increased with the amount of people being let go because of COVID-19, and the majority of people we were finding were 50 plus adults,” she said.

Manes says they are now ready to re-launch the program to help people because some of them need, some kind of economic source to survive.

“So, if we can help take that skill set that they have, or if we can take a hobby business that has the potential to be what we call a side hustle, that we can actually get them to start making some money on it, then that’s what we want to do,” she said.

Manes says people aged 50 and up have great skill sets, wisdom and experience.

“We find a lot of businesses they go to a younger generation, they go to somewhere where they can pay less money for the skills set, and train people how to do it. But the problem is, is that whole generation is not being regarded for, as I said, all that they bring to the table,” she said.

Manes says the program will help mature adults leverage their experience, fine tune their skills, and remain relevant in the workforce.

The Skills at Work: 55+ program is being offered virtually on November 11, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.

To register and for full details, please click here.