Jobs, skills-training project supports therapeutic market garden

As many as eight eligible British Columbians will receive work experience and skill-enhancement courses as they develop and build a therapeutic market garden, thanks to a Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project.

“This new CEP project provides participants with skills and experience to find and keep jobs in the agricultural sector on Vancouver Island,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “In addition, the therapeutic garden will provide a healing environment for those recovering from addiction to learn new skills as they focus on their recovery.”

The Province is providing almost $150,000 to The Mustard Seed Street Church in Victoria to deliver its Therapeutic Market Garden program at Hope Farm Healing Centre in Duncan. This CEP project from the Government of British Columbia is intended for individuals with a BC Employment and Assistance Program Persons with Disabilities designation.

Over 48 weeks, participants will learn about general farm practices, including crop planning, planting, propagation methods, composting, soils, growing and tending plants, harvesting, processing and preparing plants for market sales, building and maintaining a greenhouse, landscaping, groundskeeping and minor marketing practices.

They will also receive certification in Occupational First Aid Level 1 with CPR, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHIMS) and Food Safe.

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

Funding for this project is provided through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of WorkBC’s CEP. CEP investments are targeted toward projects that support an inclusive economic recovery. They support B.C. job seekers’ training and work experience leading to employment in available jobs, and aids businesses and communities to address labour-market challenges. CEP invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.

“We are excited, because people’s lives will be impacted by this project,” said Brent Cooper, manager, Hope Farm. “And long term, small farms will get trained employees to support local food production.”

Learning and training activities for this project start Oct. 4, 2021, and run until Sept. 2, 2022. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

Learn More:

Learn how CEPs are helping local communities:

Learn about how WorkBC can help find British Columbians jobs that are right for them:

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The Mustard Seed Street Church:

Hope Healing Farm:

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