NDP MLA Jennifer Rice says BladeRunners will prepare at-risk youth for work in the North Coast

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PRINCE RUPERT – New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice says at-risk youth in Prince Rupert 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.

“This new funding for the BladeRunner program will help young people gain more control over their futures. The program will help to reduce barriers, teach young people valuable life skills, and provide them with more access to the skills they need to find and start their careers,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast

The John Howard Society of the Pacific Region has received over $1.3 million in funding over three years to offer this program to youth in the North Coast who face barriers to employment.

MLA Rice 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. 

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AEST0050-001420

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