A $1.16-million Job Creation Partnerships project developed by the B.C. government and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. is putting people to work weeding out invasive plants and species in five Interior communities.
The year-long Invasive Species Skills Development Program is now underway in the Vernon, Kamloops, 100 Mile House, Revelstoke and Williams Lake regions. The 15 participants will survey and then remediate invasive species populations, and also work to raise public awareness of the issue with various groups and at community events.
The three-person team assigned to each of these five communities will focus on the invasive species present in that specific area, gaining skills in conducting field inventories, surveying, plant identification, data recording, data management and communications. Participants have received their Level 1 first aid certification and training in pesticide application and the use of the Invasive Alien Species Program Integrated Application for Provincial Plants.
This project will run until April 2017, when participants will have completed all of their planned activities, including more than 150 presentations to local organizations and schools. They will also prepare a report on management activities related to 20 priority invasive plants and species at 250 different sites.
The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is providing $872,826 for this Job Creation Partnership, while the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is providing $49,220 of in-kind contributions, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is contributing $27,620 of in-kind contributions. More than 40 agencies have contributed in-kind professional support, including at least 10 local and First Nations governments.
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding for the project is provided through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It also helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom instruction and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,200 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 240 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“Projects like these are fantastic because they provide benefits to communities across our province along with valuable training for British Columbians as they look to re-enter the work force. Invasive species provide a threat to our ecosystem, and the more people who know how to deal with them, the better our environment will be.”
Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin –
“The training will increase skilled workers with the ability to manage invasive plants and other species, a much-needed resource in our communities. In addition, funding would enable the ISCBC to provide on-ground management activities that would reduce the populations of provincial and regional priority invasive plants and species on priority sites, resulting in a marked reduction of their spread.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“It was important for our government to stand behind and fund this program because of the threat that invasive species pose to British Columbia. We will continue working to stop the spread of invasive plants to protect native species and preserve crucial ecosystems.”
Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson –
“It is great to see our government teaming up with key stakeholders in the fight against invasive species as we all work to eradicate them from our eco-system. I’m pleased to see this group of participants stepping up to help out while they work toward full-time employment.”
Eric Foster, MLA for Vernon-Monashee –
“I’m pleased that the Vernon-Monashee region is involved in this project because, as we are all aware, invasive species brought to our province are a threat to the environment. We will have a lot more knowledge of the challenges facing our area with regards to invasive species once this project is complete.”
Gail Wallin, executive director, Invasive Species Council of B.C. –
“We encourage everyone to learn how to get involved preventing invasive species from taking hold, and how to keep them from damaging British Columbia’s environment, economy and our society.”
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a leading role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnerships and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once a connection between the client and a suitable project has been made, the WorkBC Employment Services Centre continues to provide financial support and services to ensure the client’s success.
- In 2016-17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of British Columbia.
- The Employment Program of British Columbia is jointly funded by the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, through the Labour Market Development Agreements.
- 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
- First Nation bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
Find out more about invasive species in B.C.: http://bcinvasives.ca/
For more information about Community and Employer Partnerships, visit: 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 about B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
Find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/