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Funding for jobs, skills training supports food security

Funding for jobs, skills training supports food security

September 12, 2020 at 9:34 am  BC, News, Politics

A new Job Creation Partnership project in New Westminster will provide work experience and skills training in carpentry and landscaping for up to 12 eligible participants over 48 weeks, while supporting long-term food security objectives for the area.

“The ongoing effects of COVID-19 have highlighted the importance of knowing how to grow and sustain our local food supply,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This project is a unique opportunity for individuals to gain the skills they need to build and maintain a garden that will serve their community, while learning the value and benefits of therapeutic gardening.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is providing more than $329,000 to Growcery Food Network Society for its COVID-19 Food Security program. Participants will learn new skills and gain work experience in carpentry, joinery, landscaping and gardening as they build a therapeutic garden for the community.

Participants will also receive certification in First Aid Level 2, Foodsafe, MarketSafe, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), forklift, backhoe/bobcat and scissor-lift operation.

“By teaching people how to plant, grow, harvest and maintain crops under the direction of a therapeutic horticulturalist, this project provides skills training for New Westminster residents, promotes food security and supports mental health and wellness,” said Judy Darcy, MLA for New Westminster. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for our community and I look forward to visiting the therapeutic garden when it’s completed.”

Funding for this project is provided through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP). CEP aims to increase employment opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through partnerships, research and innovative job-creation projects.

“We are very excited about the funding received from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and our partnership with the City of New Westminster to deliver a timely food-security program centred around the values of therapeutic horticulture,” said Jeremy Dyson, program manager. “We anticipate participants will gain both tangible employment skills while also learning about the intrinsic stress-relieving opportunities that working with plant life brings.”

The project intake began Aug. 31, 2020. Activities will run from Sept. 21 through until July 2021. Anyone interested in applying for the project or finding out about eligibility requirements can contact their local WorkBC Centre.

Quick Facts:

  • Over $19 million was invested in CEP projects around B.C. in 2019-20.
  • CEP’s goal is to increase employment and work experience opportunities in communities throughout B.C.

Learn More:

Learn how CEP projects are helping local communities: www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Find your local WorkBC centre: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/WorkBC-Centres/WorkBC-Centres-Listing.aspx

Western Canada Community Projects Society: www.communityprojects.ca

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