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B.C. announces $5M grant to get youth back to work during COVID-19 pandemic

Provincial government has announced a $5M program for unemployed youth
The provincial government has announced a new $5-million program for unemployed B.C. youth to find work during the pandemic. Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey has more on today's announcement.

The B.C. government is investing $5 million to get youth working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said the grant is available to communities across B.C. and will be invested in hiring those between the ages of 15 and 29, an age group Mark said has been economically impacted by the pandemic.

Mark said almost 100,000 youth are out of work amid the COVID-19 crisis and the program gives students a chance to learn transferable skills and the unemployed an opportunity to immediately earn income.

The temporary outdoor job program will run over four months. Examples of jobs include building trails, green spaces, and sanitation.

Participants will receive a stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period, Mark said.

Read more: Tuition hikes amid coronavirus pandemic unacceptable, student groups say

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Each project will employ up to 10 young people, who will adhere to physical-distancing guidelines.

“This partnership program is a great complement to the federal Canada Student Service Grant announced by the federal government last week,” said Mark.

Read more: Canada launches student service grant, aims at fighting coronavirus pandemic

Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations said students face an uncertain future in the wake of the pandemic.

“This is a really important step the province has taken in attempting to provide a real opportunity to get some of our First Nations youth out of poverty into training opportunities.”