The achievement of more than 60 local Aboriginal youth who have successfully completed the BladeRunners program was celebrated today at a graduation ceremony hosted by the Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society (CCATEC).
CCATEC has been running BladeRunners in Williams Lake and Quesnel since 2009, with seven cohorts going through the program since then. Sixty-one youth have completed the program, and half of them secured local employment upon completion of the program - a great achievement, considering the barriers and challenges this group of youth often face.
Participants in the CCATEC program have had the opportunity to train in areas such as heavy duty equipment operator, tourism, construction, automotive repair, and more. The program includes three weeks of life and job skills training, four to six weeks of industry specific training, and six to nine weeks of work experience with local employers.
BladeRunners is a $5.5-million-per-year, award-winning program that helps at-risk youth between the ages of 15 and 30 through life and job skills training, job coaching and certification courses to secure employment. In 2011-12, the program supported about 1,200 youth, with over three-quarters securing employment at the completion of the program.
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation -
"BladeRunners has been a highly successful program that ensures some of our most vulnerable youth have the opportunity to access life and skills training, so they can secure local employment."
"The Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society has had a very successful run with BladeRunners, and I know they will continue to give local youth an opportunity to jump into the labour market with confidence and employable skills."
Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin -
"The Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society plays a key role in supporting the Aboriginal community in this region, and I'd like to congratulate them on another successful year running BladeRunners. They are committed to ensuring that Aboriginal youth have the best opportunity for a successful future."
Rhonda Labelle, executive director, Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society -
"We are celebrating another successful year of BladeRunners, and it's a great time to reflect on the success of our participants and the support of our community and government. We have always partnered with our community and industry partners, and we will continue to do so - their support is appreciated and a necessary part of the BladeRunners program. Our graduates have much to be proud of, and I wish them the best of luck in their future."
- Twelve youth between the ages of 18 and 30 with identified employment barriers are accepted into each intake of the CCATEC BladeRunners program.
- Over the next decade, British Columbia is projected to have over one million job openings. The BC Jobs Plan will ensure the over $500 million provided annually for labour market and training programs is targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs.
- Government invests over $100 million annually in industry training through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) - the provincial Crown agency responsible for overseeing B.C.'s industry training and apprenticeship system. This investment is almost $33 million (or 45 per cent) higher than it was in 2004 when the ITA was established.
- For 2011-12, the Industry Training Authority invested over $3.13 million (LMA funding) in Aboriginal initiatives trades training programs.
- There are currently more than 32,000 apprentices in the system - more than double the number of apprentices registered when ITA was created in 2004.
- Aboriginal participation in apprenticeship training at public post-secondary institutions has increased 103% between 2006 and 2011.
- B.C. invests approximately $66 million a year - between 2008 and 2014 - in programs and services that help people get the skills they need to fill job opportunities in regions where they live and study. These programs and services are funded through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement (LMA).
For information on BladeRunners, visit: http://www.bladerunners.info/
For more information on the Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, visit:
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Looking for a one-stop resource for the working world? Visit WorkBC: http://www.workbc.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation