CAMPBELL RIVER – At-risk youth on the North Island 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.
“Job supports can make a world of difference for youth entering the workforce, and can help turn short-term work into fulfilling careers,” said MLA Babchuk. “We’re supporting youth in achieving their goals through partnerships with the John Howard Society and local service providers across the Island and Coast. BladeRunners has been a success since its inception, and I look forward to seeing the continued achievements of B.C. youth who participate in this program.”
The Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) has received over $10 million in funding over three years to offer this program to youth in on the North Island who face barriers to employment. Services are delivered by the Laichwiltach Family Life Society and North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society in Campbell River and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in Port Alberni.
MLA Babchuk 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