No tuition to worry about
Holland College administers free online courses for job seekers or those already in workplace
Students only need to invest time, not money, in these online courses administered by Holland College.
Funded through Skills P.E.I., the college is offering more than 140 courses through what it calls an e-force training program that runs entirely online.
There is no classroom time and no cost, and students can complete their courses on their own time.
Angela Hodgson, who works in the customized training branch of the college, said the courses are geared toward small businesses and their employees as well as job seekers or people simply looking to upgrade their skills.
They cover things like social media, human resource fundamentals and, the most popular one, Microsoft Excel.
“It’s definitely one of the number one courses,’’ Hodgson said. “People want that quick bit of little information to get them through a spreadsheet or to try and help them figure out why they’re stuck in a certain area.’’
The program is currently free until March 31 when the promotional period ends. A decision on whether it will be extended hasn’t been made yet, but anyone who enrols prior to that date gets to complete the course.
Holland College didn’t develop the curriculum. That was done by Bluedrop Performance Learning, an e-learning company based in St. John’s, N.L.
Of the programs, two of the course bundles are specific to P.E.I. – social media and human resource fundamentals. Topics covered include selling products and services with social media and creating and managing a brand online, as well as employment standards and occupational health and safety.
Through Skills P.E.I., the province identified the need for people in the workplace or trying to get into the workplace to upgrade their skills in a quick, simple and cost effective way of doing it.
For example, an employer with a two-person staff who can’t afford to send his workers off for training could have them do it this way.
Hodgson said for those interested in enrolling, the first point of contact is the website at www.eforcepei.ca, which involves a three-step process to sign up.
At present, more than 5,000 people are taking courses at eforce training.
“It’s a new program. It’s never been tried before, so it’s certainly at the level we would hope it to be at (and) it continues to grow every month. People are still engaged and interested in improving their learning,’’ Hodgson said.
Melissa French took the courses and liked them so much she became the project co-ordinator at the college.
“They’re fast and easy to do,’’ French said.
“I would definitely recommend it to brush up on stuff or to learn new stuff, too.’’
Melissa French, left, and Angela Hodgson, with Holland College’s customized training department, say the e-force training courses that the college administers have not only been popular but beneficial.