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

Parksville’s Career Centre offers youth jobs training

BladeRunners program for ages 16-30 begins Feb. 19

Youth aged 16-30 are being offered help entering the workforce in the construction and hospitality industries as the Career Centre brings back its BladeRunners program this spring.

The award-winning, provincially funded program, introduced in Parksville Qualicum Beach in 2016, offers life skills and job readiness training to youth, to help them succeed in the local job market, the Career Centre announced in a written release.

BladeRunners will be offered twice this spring: Feb. 19 through March 16 with a focus on construction and April 16 through May 11 with a focus on hospitality.

Registration deadline is Feb. 2. The Career Centre will need to know how many prospective attendees are interested in order to ensure the classes can run, said Lori Koop, Career Centre manager of marketing and operations.

Youth in each program will receive four weeks of free customized training. Upon completion and depending on the program focus, participants will receive certification in first aid, WHMIS, cashier training, Serving it Right, FoodSafe, Superhost, fall protection, forklift, and construction safety and skills. Youth will also gain career education, life and job readiness skills, said Koop.

The BladeRunners program provides a unique opportunity for young women and men to forge relationships and gain new skills as they work towards long term employment or further education, the Career Centre release stated. After completing classroom, participants will be supported through job coaching to secure employment.

Local employers will have an opportunity to assist in the development of this future workforce as they provide mentorship and training through these work placements. Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society (CVIJOBS) will provide employers with a wage subsidy to reduce their payroll expenses when hiring a BladeRunners youth.

The ultimate goal, said Koop, is to place trained youth into long-term employment. She added it is always exciting for the centre’s staff to hear a former BladeRunner share what the program has meant to them personally.

“BladeRunners gave me the skills and confidence I needed to get the job of my dreams. Thank you for all of the training and support,” said Infinity Auty.

Those interested in registering may call to set up an appointment with the Career Centre’s Youth Employment Specialist. The Career Centre also welcomes program referrals. Those who know of a youth who meets the following criteria are welcome to encourage them to call right away to register: aged 16-30; not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits; living in British Columbia; legally entitled to work in Canada; in need of assistance in order to overcome barriers to employment (such as financial hardship, lack of experience, certification, equipment or tools); and ready and willing to participate.

For more information visit www.careercentre.org or call the Career Centre at 250-248-3205.

The Career Centre is an initiative of the Central Vancouver Island Job Opportunities Building Society (CVIJOBS), a non-profit society that provides employment and career-related services to residents within the Bowser to Lantzville region.

— NEWS staff/Career Centre release

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