During the pandemic, youth unemployment peaked at 29%, over 15 percentage points above the provincial average. As of this month, youth unemployment sits at 12.1%, above the general unemployment rate in B.C. of 6.9%.
Premier John Horgan announced yesterday that the Province of British Columbia is providing more than 5,000 youth and young adults across the province with access to skills training and well-paid jobs through the almost $45-million StrongerBC Future Leaders Program.
The StrongerBC Future Leaders Program provides youth and young adults with training, internships, job co-ops and jobs in the growing tech sector, environment and natural resource fields.
As part of the announcement, the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation is investing $22 million to fund a minimum of 4,500 training spots and paid internships in two programs, in partnership with Innovate BC and the Digital Technology Supercluster.
“Young people continue to be disproportionally impacted in this pandemic. They have experienced higher rates of unemployment and the nature of the economy has been changing rapidly,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
“This new program creates opportunities that young people need. It takes an inclusive approach that is tailored to the future economy, to ensure that Indigenous, Black, people of colour, women and people facing socio-economic barriers are able to participate in our growing economy and help build a stronger B.C.”
The first program, the Innovator Skills Initiative program, is delivered in partnership with Innovate BC. The second program, the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program, is delivered by NPower Canada, in partnership with the Digital Technology Supercluster and Microsoft.