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Breaking down job barriers

Culture and heritage will play a key role in helping Aboriginal youth find work under a provincial program.

The province is providing the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) with $1.97 million to help Aboriginal youth with barriers to employment find work through an experience focused on culture and heritage.

The BRIDGES program, in partnership with UBCO, will provide employment services to 140 Stylix members aged 15 to 30, aiming to break down systemic barriers to employment for Aboriginal youth.

The first-of-its-kind project will have elders teach younger generations about their heritage while employment mentors identify barriers individuals face and help overcome those challenges.

“Providing Okanagan Aboriginal youth with a culturally rich experience, will enable participants to become integral contributors to Canada’s leading economy right here in British Columbia,” said Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development in a media release.

Participants will then enter job placements with local employers in a field of their choice, with the support of the BRIDGES team.

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