Week in Review : December 13th to 17th

Students prep for jobs with more work experience opportunities

Thanks to additional financing and a focus on reinforcing placements damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, students in British Columbia will have access to as many as 3,000 new co-ops and work-integrated learning experiences in 2021-22. “The COVID-19 epidemic had a disproportionately negative influence on young people’s career prospects, lowering the amount of co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities accessible to students. We are putting money into these programmes to assist students to get the hands-on experience they need to get started in their professions,” Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang stated. “Helping firms across the province offer co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities is fantastic news for students and good news for businesses”.

In total, 46 projects will be supported across B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, including UBC-Okanagan, University of Northern BC, and Thompson Rivers University, which will build on work already underway to assist employers in Interior and northern communities in hiring students for 130 WIL placements. This financing comes on top of a $9 million one-time commitment made in 2019 to assist more than 70 pilot initiatives aimed at expanding co-op and WIL possibilities for post-secondary students, particularly Indigenous and disabled students. Read More…

Accessibility grants awarded to promote inclusion

On the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the winning projects were unveiled. “People with disabilities bring a diverse range of skills and experiences to our communities,” stated Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Nicholas Simons. “This year’s accessibility grant recipients represent a variety of great projects that will support and promote inclusion in B.C.” The government announced financing for community-based accessibility initiatives in May 2021, as part of the Province’s continued commitment to promoting accessibility and boosting community participation. This year, 15 candidates were chosen to receive grants ranging from $10,500 to $40,000, depending on the project’s size and scope.

“This is the fourth year running that government has made accessibility grants available to not-for-profit organizations operating for community benefit,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “The depth and scope of these new accessibility projects will make a difference in the lives of British Columbians with disabilities”. Projects ranging from art education and dance therapy to emergency response plans and cycling programmes for the deaf and hard of hearing have all been successful. “It has been very meaningful to be a part of this year’s Accessibility Project Grant review team and to learn about organizations across B.C.working to improve accessibility,” said Julia Lamb, board member, Disability Alliance BC. “This grant makes possible projects that allow people with disabilities to participate as equals in community, inclusive of our diverse experiences. Read More…

 Funding to school districts to keep kids out of gangs

This grant, which is administered via the School District Mentorship Grant Program, assists school districts in developing local programmes and initiatives for kids who are recruited by gangs. Students will be coached and mentored with the goal of strengthening and improving their ties to community, culture, and relationships. “We need to work together to make sure young people are knowledgeable and resilient,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “By supporting our schools and investing in early intervention and prevention programmes, we are addressing the root of the issue and diverting vulnerable youth from joining gangs in the first place”.

Many school districts will offer culturally friendly programmes to students, as well as services for vulnerable Indigenous students. As part of the Erase strategy, an education-based anti-gang initiative, the ministries of Education and Public Safety, as well as the Solicitor General, launched the School District Mentorship Grant Program. In addition, the Erase initiative analyses troubling or unsafe students ’ behaviour, provides instructor education, identifies local options for help, and builds school district capacity. Read More…

Written by Shira Rubin