VICTORIA – New Democrat MLA Rob Fleming says at-risk youth in Victoria 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.
“BladeRunners does critical work by providing at-risk youth with opportunities to gain employment and life skills that put them on a path to success,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “When youth have access to supports that empower them to build their own futures, we all benefit as a larger community.”
Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) 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. In Victoria, ACCESS will deliver the BladeRunners program through John Howard Society of Victoria.
MLA Fleming 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