B.C. Premier Christy Clark looks on as Chris Finlayson of the BG Group announces a $5 million investment to promote youth entrepreneurship in the province.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark looks on as Chris Finlayson of the BG Group announces a $5 million investment to promote youth entrepreneurship in the province.

BG Group commits $5 million to youth entrepreneur project

The BG Group wants to make sure youth in the province have the tools needed to meet the demand in job growth projected for the LNG industry.

The BG Group wants to make sure youth in the province have the tools needed to meet the demand in job growth projected for the liquefied natural gas industry, and on Wednesday the company made a multimillion dollar commitment to help.

The BG Group, proponents of the Prince Rupert LNG project on Ridley Island, announced a five year, $5 million funding partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to develop youth-led businesses in B.C. In making the announcement, the BG Group said the money comes with a focus on enhancing opportunities for First Nations and communities that are near the terminal site.

“That is where our business interest is and that is the area we are considering investing in. When you invest, you need professional jobs to support business activities, and that is why we want to see this funding go back to northern B.C.,” said spokesperson David Byford, with CEO Chris Finlayson noting the opportunities that come with LNG.

“We foresee industrial growth creating significant opportunities for the western Canada workforce. Our relationship with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation represents an investment in the future — the young entrepreneurs who receive start-up funding today may well be serving a vibrant LNG sector tomorrow,” he said.

Finlayson was joined at the announcement by both Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman, both of whom welcomed the partnership.

“BG Group is investing directly in the future of our northern communities. This is the first of many social benefits we expect to see as a result of liquefied natural gas development,” said Coleman.

The Prince Rupert LNG project is expected to create between 400 and 600 full-time, permanent positions and require as many as 3,000 workers during the construction phase. The BG Group expects to make a final investment decision in 2016.