New incentives to hire youth

Penticton businesses now have some extra incentive to hire young people thanks to the extension of a government program.

Western News Staff

Penticton businesses now have some extra incentive to hire young people thanks to the extension of a government program aimed at bolstering youth employment.

Under the Get Youth Working! program, employers can receive a hiring incentive of up to $2,800 per participant in addition to $1,000 to offset the costs of providing these youth with training. The program is being administered across the province by Bowman Employment Services for the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation’s Youth Skills B.C. Initiative. Funding has been provided to cover the program until March 31, 2013.

Organizers say there has already been a local success story at the Cannery Brewing Company. Owner Patt Dyck knew that she wanted to hire a microbiologist to work in her brewery, but couldn’t afford to hire one, especially not during slow season. Recent graduate in microbiology Scott Naylor had his sights set on the brewing industry, and, after completing his degree at the University of Victoria, was eager to break into the business. Get Youth Working! allowed Dyck to hire Naylor for a three-month period and has led to full-time employment.

“The province is pleased to partner with Bowman Employment Services to help B.C. youth gain the skills they will need for their future, so they can become active participants in our labour market,” said Pat Bell, minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. Get Youth working is an extension of a pilot program developed to enhance employability for B.C’s youth by improving their existing skills and helping them gain new ones through practical experience and training. During the pilot phase, employers were able to hire up to three participants and receive $2,000 per participant.

“The program was extended as a result of the federal and provincial government’s recognition that today’s economic climate makes skills training a necessity for our youth,” said Susan Sambol, director of marketing and communications at Bowman Employment Services Inc. With the extended and increased funding, the Get Youth Working! Program hopes to assist 900 youth in the next year.