Outland Youth Employment Program to offer youth skills training

A fledgling youth development program will fly again this summer.

The Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) ran its first summer of skills training and personal growth initiatives in 2018.

The program called together more than 20 Indigenous youth from more than 16 First Nations from around the region.

They received six weeks of training in the natural resource professions. It was the western launch of a parent program already well underway in Ontario.

On Thursday, LNG Canada announced that it was signing on to be a major sponsor ensuring three more years of OYEP West, after being one of the happy inaugural partners this past summer.

“OYEP has outstanding programming and provides significant opportunities to Indigenous youth,” said Susannah Pierce, director of external relations for LNG Canada. “We saw the benefits OYEP West provided to the 2018 participants, and it was an easy decision to continue our support.”

Prince George became home base to the OYEP camp due to the vision of Derek Orr, business development manager at Carrier Lumber and a former elected chief of the McLeod Lake First Nation.

He knew firsthand that local companies were in need of skilled and motivated employees, and that Aboriginal youth were in need of outreach to draw them into the many professions offered in the industrial sector.

He found OYEP and inquired about replicating it here in northern B.C.

“OYEP has a structured environment that provides Indigenous youth a chance to interact with fellow peers, gain skills and develop their self-confidence,” said Orr.

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