Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark visited Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society head office on May 23, 2019 to make an announcement regarding the funding provided to PICS. PICS Society will receive an annual funding over the next two years to deliver skills training programs and supports to young adults and young adults at risk, including former youth in care.
The two programs at PICS are among 39 programs in BC that started on April 1, 2019. These programs are providing training and employment support programs for people aged between 18 and 24 years, regardless of their employment insurance availability. The types of programs vary by service provider, but typically include skills training, mentorship and other supports to help participants overcome employment barriers. These barriers could include lack of work experience or occupational skills, as well as involvement in the criminal justice system, incomplete high school education or history of addiction and substance abuse.
PICS is delivering a 20-week Youth Technical Employment and Business Pathways program that allows young adults to explore three different technical occupations: fire protection inspection, construction safety inspection and underground utility location. A second PICS program is the 30-week Trade Builders for young adults at risk. It provides construction trades skills training, as well as additional supports, including employment support for learners.
This program has guided me through the career path that I was hoping for. I am truly grateful to everybody who has helped me open my eyes to the path of success,” said Edwin Uy, PICS student. Kathleen Chitombo, another PICS student, said, I am glad that I am a part of this program. Within the span of two weeks I have learned various things about the workforce and who I am. I look forward to learning more.
A total of about 2,500 young adults annually are expected to access skills training and wraparound supports leading to jobs or further education and training.
Thank you, Melanie Mark, for talking to our students and inspiring them with your story and the support of your government and Garry Begg for hosting the event.