‘I need experience to get the job, but I need the job to get experience’

B.C. employers offered cash incentives to help train young workers in effort to break age-old employment cycle

Employers in British Columbia are being offered cash incentives from the government to help workers break the age-old “you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience” cycle.

The $3 million YouthSkillsBC Workplace Pilot Program aims to provide youth the chance to gain experience and new skills in the workplace, and open the doors to rewarding careers and good wages, the province said.

“One of the biggest challenges youth will face in the coming decades is acquiring skills that will move them forward in their careers,” said Regional Economic and Skills Development Minister Ida Chong. “This program will help address that issue so youth can gain the experience and skills, while they’re employed, that are needed to succeed in the workplace now and in the future.”

Funded under the Canada/B.C. Labour Market Agreement, the 16-month, workplace-based pilot will help about 650 youth, enhancing employability by improving their existing skills and helping them gain new ones through practical experience and training. Employers will be able to hire up to three participants, and can receive up to $2,000 per participant to offset the costs of providing these youth with on-the-job training.

In addition to employer support for hiring and on-the-job training, the pilot program can help employers develop a training plan for each participant and funding assistance to pay for the supplemental training identified in these plans.

The program will be open to participants and employers across the province and will be administered by Bowman Employment Services. Additional details about the program are available at www.bowmanemployment.com/ysbc or call toll-free (877) 866-3100.

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