Business

'BladeRunners' will prepare at-risk youth for work

By Don Fennell

Published 11:48 PDT, Thu September 16, 2021

Last Updated: 3:33 PDT, Mon September 27, 2021

Science fiction film fans may recall Blade Runner as the title of a 1982 box office hit starring Harrison Ford as a burnt out cop who agrees to hunt down a fugitive group of advanced replicants.

Unlike the movie, however, this initiative envisions a brighter future.

“Young people in Richmond have enormous potential, and with BladeRunners, they will be able to break down barriers and reach their goals,” said Kelly Greene, MLA for Richmond–Steveston. “By providing youth with training, opportunities, and mentorship, we are setting them up for success in work and in life.” 

Greene and her NDP MLA colleagues in Richmond—Henry Yao and Aman Singh—say the program will assist at-risk youth to gain skills in in-demand fields. Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) has received $10,523,551 in funding over three years to offer this program to youth who face barriers to employment in 14 communities across B.C., including Richmond.  

BladeRunners has helped thousands of young people to gain valuable life and employment skills since the program began in 1994,” said Yao, MLA for Richmond South Centre. “With this latest investment, more Richmond youth will get the skills they need to succeed and take part in our economic recovery.” 

Added Singh, MLA for Richmond–Queensborough: “The pandemic has been hardest on those who were already more vulnerable, including many young people. BladeRunners will give an extra boost to youth who face barriers to employment, putting them on solid footing as our economy recovers.” 

The MLAs say the BladeRunners program empowers youth aged 15 to 30 to take control of their futures, gain valuable skills, and find new career opportunities in areas such as construction, culinary arts, health care, retail, hospitality, and office administration. In addition to job skills and work experience placements, youth build life skills and receive mentorship and other supports to help them participate and succeed in the program.  

Learn more at www.workbc.ca/employment-services/labour-market-programs/bladerunners-program.aspx

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