The British Columbia government has introduced a program aimed at creating work for 15-to-29-year-old youth in community service while their job prospects are dramatically affected by COVID-19.
Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark says almost 25 per cent of youth are unemployed in B.C. and the program would give them an opportunity to work outdoors on initiatives such as building trails or cleaning beaches.
She says the $5-million program would provide up to $10,000 in grants for community projects lasting up to 16 weeks.
Youth would receive a training stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period to a maximum of $8,000 for work until the end of October.
Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson says the program would provide young people with responsibility and work experience as B.C. begins to recover from the pandemic.
Chief Counsellor Robert J. Dennis Sr. of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations says students face an uncertain future and participating in the program would give them skills they could take into their future career.