Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)

New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

A Vancouver Island family services program has launched a work placement program to empower Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat to seek employment and develop job skills.

Team Lead Tim Harris said that Kw’umut Lelum’s Step Up! Program is important work in getting rid of stigma against Indigenous youth.

“I grew up with racism. I was on the receiving end of it all the time,” Harris said. “Making sure our kids have opportunities is the biggest thing and being good citizens — being positive role models.”

Step Up will help young people develop basic employment skills like building a resume, organizing transportation to and from work, preparing for a job interview, and learning about workplace safety and other job readiness skills. Youth will participate in 100 to 120 hours of work-based training with a wage subsidy from Kw’umut Lelum.

“It’s the full spectrum of employment that we’re working with them on. It’s not just about getting to your job and working, it’s everything that comes with it. We teach a lot of life skills… that’s what Step Up is all about,” Harris said.

Step Up Employment Navigator Kaylie McKinley said that program facilitators work with each youth’s individual needs and interests to hone their passions into a career.

“They have these passions and strengths already. We want to pull those out and dive deeper into them,” she said.

Kw’umut Lelum works with nine central Island First Nations: Snuneymuxw, Snaw-Naw-As, Stz’uminus, Qualicum, Málexeł, Penelakut, Halalt, Lyackson, and Lake Cowichan First Nation. Youth from the member nations can be referred through Kw’umut Lelum to participate in the Step Up program.

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the program.

McKinley said that Step Up is looking for employers to participate in the program. Any businesses in the Central Island area that want to support Indigenous youth with entry-level employment are encouraged to reach out to the Step Up program at kmckinley@kwumut.org.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Just Posted

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Letters to the Editor.
Snipes prank not worth celebrating

Is another form of bullying deserving of a bronze statue?

Letters to the editor.
Money the B.C. government’s priority over health

Case numbers of COVID-19 don’t seem to back up opening the economy

Police have been kept busy dealing with a crime spree throughout the pandemic in North Cowichan/Duncan and elsewhere. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Worrisome time amid a pandemic

Huge drain on finances, rising criminal activity among the concerns

A young woman is believed to have died in a fire on the Malahat Nation reserve early Thursday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
UPDATE: Woman dies in fire on Malahat Nation reserve Thursday morning

18-year-old victim alerted others to the fire, police say

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read