Infinity Auty meets a ewe and her lamb while working at Tiger Lily Farm in Errington in 2017, after completing the Career Centre’s BladeRunner career training program. (Photo submitted by Career Centre)

Infinity Auty meets a ewe and her lamb while working at Tiger Lily Farm in Errington in 2017, after completing the Career Centre’s BladeRunner career training program. (Photo submitted by Career Centre)

BladeRunners program helps to prepare youth for work in Parksville area

Walker: ‘I am thankful this program will continue here in Parksville’

Youth on the mid-Island will be able to gain skills in in-demand fields through BladeRunners, an employment and skills training program that provides support for young people.

“The training and support provided through the BladeRunners program makes an incredible difference for young people in our community at the start of their careers,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “For youth facing unique barriers, employment stability is important part for their long-term success and I am thankful this program will continue here in Parksville.”

The Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society has received $10,523,551 in funding over three years to offer this program to youth in various communities across B.C. who face barriers to employment.

The BladeRunners program empowers young people aged 15-30 to take control of their futures, gain valuable skills and find new career opportunities in areas such as construction, culinary arts, health care, retail, hospitality and office administration. In addition to job skills and work experience placements, youth build life skills and receive mentorship and other supports to help them participate and succeed in the program.

READ MORE: BladeRunners program a success in Parksville

In Parksville, ACCESS will deliver the BladeRunners program through Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society while in Nanaimo, the program will be delivered by the Nanaimo Youth Services Society.

The provincial government is allocating $18.6M over three years to support the BladeRunners program being delivered by 11 organizations serving 50 communities across B.C. More than 4,000 young people will benefit from this funding, 65-70 per cent of whom are expected to be Indigenous.

The BladeRunners program began as a pilot project in 1994 to address the needs of at-risk youth on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

If you are between the ages of 15 and 30 who is facing multiple barriers to employment, see the BladeRunners website: https://www.workbc.ca/employment-services/labour-market-programs/bladerunners-program.aspx

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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