Thanks to a pilot program, youth will be able to offer potential employers a $3,000 incentive when they look for jobs this year.
Funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, the Youth Skills BC Workplace Pilot Program offers employers a $2,000 hiring incentive and $1,000 training fund if they hire an eligible youth.
With the shortage of skilled workers in B.C. projected to increase, the $3 million project is meant to help young people succeed in the labour market through on-the-job and formal training and work experience.
The hope is to help young people break the age-old cycle of needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience.
The program starts with the young person applying for the program and taking it to potential employers.
School District 69 (Qualicum) career education co-ordinator Stephen Stahley is promoting the program as a great resource for students, but stresses they have to be approved for the program before they are hired or they cannot access the incentive money.
Stahley said the program will work nicely for graduating students and fits other apprenticeship and career training programs and the district’s promotion of youth hiring.
He said when combined with federal and provincial tax incentives for apprentices, it becomes a huge incentive young people can take to potential employers.
The youth must be an unemployed B.C. resident, age 15 to 29, not on employment insurance and not a full-time student.
The employer must have been in business for at least two years, in good standing with the Workers Compensation Board and must employ the new hire for a minimum 30 hours per week for three months.
“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 in a press release.
“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,” she continued.
The 16-month program will help about 650 youth and may be extended to 2014.
There is information at high school career centres, but it’s best to go directly to Bowman Employment Services which is administering it.
Check www.bowmanemployment.com/ysbc or call 1-877-866-3100 for more details.