VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. Parks and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service have announced a new government program that offers young people that are interested in environmental management and conservation the opportunities to gain exposure, skills, and training.

This $1.8-million Youth Employment Program (YEP) offers employment opportunities for young people through fall and winter months. These youth will have direct mentoring from experienced park rangers and conservation officers. Successful candidates will develop skills and experiences that will help them to succeed if they decide to pursue a career in the field.

This program will mainly focus on diversity and inclusion, aiming to hire Indigenous youth and other young people from under-represented groups who could face employment barriers.

The program duties will range from public outreach and education, facility and trail maintenance, to invasive species removal and supporting conservation and recreation projects. Some members of YEP have the opportunity to work in Smithers as well as the Provincial Services Branch in Victoria, where they will contribute to research, communications, program development, and policy work.

B.C. Parks is planning to have 25 new YEP positions, and the B.C. Conservation Service will have 18. BC parks positions will be available on the B.C. Government employment opportunities web page around mid-August.