Provincial funding is providing work experience to four North Islanders as they gain new skills removing invasive knotweed in four different communities.
Through a Job Creation Partnership project with the Regional District of Mount Waddington, the Province is providing nearly $55,000 for the Invasive Weed Eradication Project to help kill invasive weeds by putting the participants to work in Coal Harbour, Quatsino, Port Hardy and Fort Rupert.
The 22-week project sees its participants, under the guidance of a supervisor, learn about invasive weeds and how to safely handle and apply pesticides, skills that will help them as they look for full-time work. They will focus on the knotweed infestation in the region, which poses a risk of damage to local infrastructure. The project will be complete on Oct. 21, 2016.
Invasive weed eradication in Quatsino will be done in consultation with the Kwakiutl First Nation.
The Ministry of Social Development’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund is providing $49,361 to fund the project and both the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and District of Port Hardy are providing $5,000 each. Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, which is running the project, is providing $3,000 of services in kind.
Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of British Columbia’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour-market information.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides supports for people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
"This project provides a dual benefit to the participants, who will learn new skills to succeed in our growing economy, and to the environment of the North Island as we work to weed out invasive plants and species. It is one more example of our government’s commitment to helping people find jobs while working with local governments and employers on important community projects.”
Pat English, manager of Economic Development, Regional District of Mount Waddington –
“The Regional District of Mount Waddington initiated the knotweed eradication program to protect our infrastructure in the rural communities. This project could not have been undertaken without the support of the Job Creation Partnership program funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. The combination of a job creation process with an infrastructure protection program is an effective and efficient approach to the development of a trained work force that will provide long term benefits to the region.”
Hank Bood, mayor, District of Port Hardy –
“The District of Port Hardy is very pleased to be part of the Knotweed eradication initiative led by the Regional District of Mount Waddington and appreciates the financial support provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. The job skills that the eradication team learns and the control of invasive plants in our community will provide ongoing benefits for the team members as well as for the community.”
Brian Heise, chair, Invasive Species Council of BC –
“This project links valuable employment skills with a co-ordinated approach to tackling aggressive knotweeds. As with all invasive species, working together is key to success in preventing the introduction and spread to our local habitats. We are pleased to see that B.C. will have new skilled employees and reduced levels of knotweeds that can impact roads and homes.”
- Knotweed is a tall shrub with bamboo-like stems that has been planted throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands as an ornamental garden plant but quickly spread to form dense thickets in a variety of areas, including along dry roadsides and on moist stream banks. Small patches can quickly spread into large areas, leaving little room for native species to grow.
- The Province’s Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where new invasive plant species have been found and responds quickly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.
- Invasive plant species that are currently being targeted in B.C. include: marsh plume thistle; European common reed; garlic mustard; knotweed; Spartina; orange and yellow (non-native) hawkweeds; knapweed; giant hogweed; blueweed; common tansy; tansy ragwort; hoary alyssum; field scabious; leafy spurge; purple loosestrife; yellow flag iris; Himalayan balsam; and Scotch broom.
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once the right match of client to project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success.
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For information about the Province’s Invasive Plant Program Strategic Plan: http://ow.ly/M1cK301gmAb
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/