Program helps youth gain skills in the workplace

It’s an age-old cycle: you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience. Now, thanks to the new $3-million Youth Skills BC (YSBC) Workplace Pilot Program, this gap will close for many B.C. youth, providing them with the opportunity to gain experience and new skills in the workplace and opening doors to rewarding careers and good wages.

  • Jan. 25, 2011 8:00 p.m.

It’s an age-old cycle: you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience. Now, thanks to the new $3-million Youth Skills BC (YSBC) Workplace Pilot Program, this gap will close for many B.C. youth, providing them with the opportunity to gain experience and new skills in the workplace and opening doors to rewarding careers and good wages.

“One of the biggest challenges youth will face in the coming decades is acquiring skills that will move them forward in their careers,” said Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Ida Chong. “This program will help address that issue so youth can gain the experience and skills, while they’re employed, that are needed to succeed in the workplace now and in the future.”

Funded under the Canada/BC Labour Market Agreement, the 16-month, workplace-based pilot will help approximately 650 youth, enhancing employability by improving their existing skills and helping them gain new ones through practical experience and training. Employers will be able to hire up to three participants, and can receive up to $2,000 per participant to off-set the costs of providing these youth with on-the-job training. “Our government is pleased to partner with the government of B.C. to help prepare Canadian youth to succeed in Canada’s labour market through programs like Youth Skills BC,” said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. British Columbia’s future economy will need a highly skilled workforce, and YSBC is helping meet that challenge. In addition to employer support for hiring and on-the-job training, the pilot program can help employers develop a training plan for each participant and funding assistance to pay for the supplemental training identified in these plans.

The program will be open to participants and employers across the province and will be administered by Bowman Employment Services Inc. Additional details about the program are available at call toll-free at 1 877 866-3100.

Under the Labour Market Agreement, the Government of Canada is providing the Province approximately $66 million annually until 2013-14. Through a variety of programs, these funds increase access to training for unemployed people who are not currently Employment Insurance clients, including those who are under-represented in the labour market. Funding also supports training for employed individuals who are low-skilled and require essential skills, or who require recognized credentials to reach their full potential in the current marketplace

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