Jobs, qualifying training project in support of therapeutic market gardening

Up to eight eligible British Columbians will receive work experience and skills improvement courses while developing and building a therapeutic vegetable garden, through a Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project.

“This new CEP project provides participants with the skills and experience necessary to find and maintain jobs in agriculture on Vancouver Island,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction . “Additionally, the Therapeutic Garden will provide a healing environment for those recovering from addiction to learn new skills while focusing on their recovery. “

The province is providing nearly $ 150,000 to Mustard Seed Street Church in Victoria for the delivery of its therapeutic vegetable garden program at the Hope Farm Healing Center in Duncan. This Government of British Columbia CEP project is intended for people with a disability designation from the British Columbia Employment and Assistance Program.

Over 48 weeks, participants will learn general farming practices including crop planning, planting, propagation methods, composting, soils, growing and caring for plants, harvesting, processing and preparation. plants for market sales, greenhouse construction and maintenance, landscaping, garden maintenance and minor business practices.

They will also receive Level 1 Occupational First Aid certification with CPR, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and food safety.

“Just as there are many routes to addiction, there are many routes to recovery,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This project is an example of innovative ways we are working across government and with our community partners to support people on their journey to wellness.

Funding for this project is provided by the WorkBC’s Job Creation Partnerships component of the CEP. CEP investments are targeted on projects that support inclusive economic recovery. They support the training and work experience of BC job seekers leading to employment in available jobs, and help businesses and communities meet the challenges of the labor market. CEP invests $ 15 million annually in communities across British Columbia

“We are thrilled because people’s lives will be affected by this project,” said Brent Cooper, manager of Hope Farm. “And in the long run, small farms will have employees trained to support local food production. “

Learning and training activities for this project start October 4, 2021 and run until September 2, 2022. Anyone interested in learning more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC center .

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Terri S. Tomasini