Putting down roots for employment success

Quaint Lodge, Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band
Image Credit: LSLIB

LITTLE SHUSWAP LAKE - A government-funded program is giving unemployed Aboriginal people paid training and hands-on work experience in the Thompson-Nichola region's horticulture industry.

The Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band is receiving more than $130,000 for the First Nations Horticulture Program, a training project that will provide up to 12 aboriginal people with the skills needed to find full-time employment in horticulture areas such as golf course maintenance, landscaping, greenhouses and agricultural settings - including local wineries.

Participants in the project are trained in a full-time, group-based setting that includes 12 weeks of employability and occupational skills training, nine weeks of on-the-job work experience with local horticulture employers, and three weeks of follow-up support in their search for work.

The project was developed in collaboration with employers to address the need for workers in the local horticulture industry. It addresses a labour market issue found in the Shuswap region that sees businesses struggling to hire local people due to a lack of training opportunities.

Employer partners providing work experience opportunities are the Quaaout Lodge & Talking Rock Golf Course, Celista Estate Winery, Crannog Ales, Sorrento Nurseries and Marionette Winery.

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation funding is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.

Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide 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 1,300 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 250 projects have been funded throughout the province.


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