Paid-internship program runs to spring 2014

They’ve signed up more than 80 young job seekers, but a Kamloops consulting group helping companies set up paid internships for post-secondary graduates says it has plenty more federal government dollars to run through before the spring of 2014.

Since April, TQM Consulting has run the federal government’s Career Focus program for the Kamloops and Thompson-Nicola region.

The program provides a 50 per cent wage subsidy for companies to create internships for college or university graduates under the age of 30.

TQM has $1.2 million in funds for the program.

While he wouldn’t get specific, owner Don Anderson said there is plenty of that money left.

Anderson said the firm is about to sign its 30th company up for the program, while 81 youth have also registered.

Companies who have signed on include NorthAm Beverages and Adroit Technologies, as well as companies specializing in day care, environmental consulting and engineering.

Anderson said the goal of the program is to get skilled young people more work experience that can help them get permanent positions once internships end.

The program is open to post-secondary graduates who are unemployed or under-employed, he said, “sweeping floors, stocking shelves, working in restaurants.”

Internships must last at least three months and can run until Feb. 28, 2014, when the government’s agreement with TQM expires.

Jesse Fletcher, a Thompson Rivers University graphic-design graduate who said he struggled to find new work after he was laid off from a local printer, said the program helped him move into a new field.

He is now working at Adroit Technologies, getting experience in web development.

“It’s one of those things where when you hear about it, it’s sort of confusing because there’s no downside,” Fletcher said.

Anderson said companies have until early December to sign up an intern for the program.

The government has committed to funding Career Focus for another three years, though it hasn’t worked out who will administer the program beyond its current end date.


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