Youth in the Smithers, Skeena and North Coast regions, with interest in environmental management, will have employment opportunities through a new government program of the BC Parks and B.C Conservation Officer Service (COS).
The $1.8-million Youth Employment Program (YEP) will offer employment possibilities for young people through the fall and winter months.
The program will focus on diversity and inclusion, aiming to hire Indigenous youth and other young people from under-represented groups who may face employment barriers.
With direct mentoring from experienced park rangers and conservation officers, the successful candidates will develop skills and experiences that can help them succeed if they pursue a career in the field, a press release issued on Aug. 5 said.
“These new positions give young people an opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in the natural environment protection sector and reflect our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce,” George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, said.
“Creating job opportunities now and providing building blocks for future careers are our priorities as we build back a better and more secure future for young British Columbians, whose jobs have been hardest hit by COVID-19. We all benefit from enhancements to BC Parks and stewardship of our natural environment.”
BC Parks positions will be available on the B.C. government employment opportunities page by mid-August, David Karn, media relations spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment told Black Press.
The upcoming position details will allow people considering their options for returning to school the chance to spend up to four months gaining practical skills they can use toward a possible career in the field of environmental stewardship. COS will initially use an existing list of candidates, with a second phase of hiring later in August, if necessary.
The duties will range from public outreach and education, facility and trail maintenance, to invasive species removal and supporting conservation and recreation projects.
Some applicants will also have opportunities to undertake office work in the North Coast region and Terrace, as well as project work in Smithers. There will also be Provincial Services Branch positions in Victoria, which will contribute to research, communications, program development and policy work.
“More boots on the ground will help ensure nature is safeguarded and that British Columbians can continue to enjoy outdoor places that are becoming increasingly popular destinations to visit,” said Bruce Passmore, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia.
“We applaud this new initiative to hire young people into conservation jobs as part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”
K-J Millar | Journalist
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