VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLA George Heyman says at-risk youth in Vancouver will be able to gain skills in in-demand fields thanks to BladeRunners, an employment and skills training program that provides wrap-around supports for young people.
“In today’s world, it can be very hard to get ahead in life without job skills or previous work experience. Our government believes that everyone deserves a rewarding and resilient livelihood but sometimes people need a helping hand to overcome the obstacles in their way,” said George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. “This funding to the YMCA Metro Vancouver will help at-risk youth in my riding gain the skills to reach their goals of becoming gainfully employed bike mechanics.”
The following service providers have received funding over three years to offer this program to youth in Vancouver who face barriers to employment:
- Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS)
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Gastown Vocational Services
- YWCA Metro Vancouver
MLA Heyman says the BladeRunners program empowers youth 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.
The New Democrat 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% 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.
BladeRunners programs are available now in communities across all regions of the province. If you are a youth 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