Julianna Weisgarber has a degree in anthropology and now is living her dream of working at a museum. Hers is one of many success stories to come out of the Get Youth Working program, and one of the reasons government is extending the pilot project through to March 31, 2013.
Funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA), the B.C. government is investing a total of nearly $5.3 million for the program to get at least 1,770 youth working throughout B.C. The program provides eligible employers in the province with an incentive of up to $2,800 per employee to hire a maximum of three eligible youth between the ages of 15 and 29.
Each new employee must work an average of 30 hours a week for a minimum of three months. The program offers an additional $1,000 per employee to offset external training costs to ensure each employee learns the skills to do the job.
For the past few months, Julianna has been working as curator for the Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum. She is getting experience in several areas, including setting up exhibits, researching and cataloguing items, working with donors, co-ordinating volunteers, and leading tours. She also recently helped to restore a wooden snow plough from 1903.
Get Youth Working offers a combination of work experience, training and funding supports to encourage employers to take a chance with hiring younger workers. The program has been particularly attractive to small and medium-sized businesses that may find it challenging to invest in on-the-job training and skills development. The program's overarching goal is to get youth into the workforce so they can earn a wage while building up their work experience, learning new skills, and becoming a part of B.C.'s skilled labour force.
Since Get Youth Working launched in January 2011, more than 800 youth have been employed beyond the three-month program. In the same period, about 1,500 youth received training and experience in many diverse industries, including forestry, construction and manufacturing, human services, horticulture, administration, food and beverage service, retail, scientific and professional services, information technology, real estate, education, public administration and various trades.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell -
"It can often be a challenge for youth to break in to the job market. Get Youth Working gives young people the opportunity to build skills and experience through on-the-job training - something that will help them gain long-term employment."
John Rustad, Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry and MLA for Nechako Lakes -
"It is great to see employers who are willing to take a chance on young people and help give them practical work experience so they can build their resumes and get good jobs. Julianna's story is a testament to the value of programs like Get Youth Working for young people across B.C."
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond -
"For youth who are just beginning their working lives, gaining work experience and skills training early gives them a head start, putting them on the path towards a successful career. The Get Youth Working program provides incentives for employers to hire young people and to provide them with formal training while on the job, yielding benefits both for the employers and for the youth who participate in the program."
Susan Sambol, director of marketing and communications, Bowman Employment Services Inc. -
"We at Bowman Employment Services Inc. are pleased to be partnered with the government of B.C. to help prepare our youth to succeed in B.C.'s labour market. The Get Youth Working program has helped hundreds of young British Columbians gain the experience and skills that they will need for future career advancement by providing funding for on-the-job and third-party training."
Julianna Weisgarber, museum curator and youth participant -
"I knew that it would be a bit of a challenge to find work in my chosen field. Through Get Youth Working, I've found a job that I really love and I'm getting hands-on experience in so many different areas. It's really reinforced for me the fact that I want to keep working at a museum and doing this every day."
- From January 2011 to Oct. 31, 2012, employers have submitted more than 1,900 Get Youth Working program participation requests.
- Based on a follow-up survey three months after finishing the program, 60 per cent of youth participants were working and 20 per cent were pursuing further schooling or training.
- Get Youth Working is one of many programs funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA).
- The Canada-British Columbia LMA funds programs and services for employed people who are low-skilled and for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
- As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada.
- Between 2008 and 2012, the LMA has provided training to approximately 3,400 individuals in the Cariboo Region.
- The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014 and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.
- During the month of November, the B.C. government is asking for ideas from citizens on the topic of building a skilled workforce. You can contribute your ideas, comment or make a suggestion at: www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Get Youth Working: http://www.getyouthworking.ca
Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum: http://pgrfm.bc.ca/
WorkBC skills training programs: www.workbc.ca/Education-Training/Programs/Pages/Employment-Programs.aspx
Industry Training Authority: www.itabc.ca
Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement information: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
Director of Marketing and Communications
Bowman Employment Services Inc.
604 466-1375 ext. 102 or
1 888 466-1375