Skills training courses offered to members of the Carrier Sekani and Yekooche First Nations are helping up to 56 Indigenous people to gain the education they need to take advantage of a wide range of jobs in B.C.’s Interior, according to a government press release.
Funding for three sets of training programs is being provided through the Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund, a program designed for and with Indigenous communities to meet their needs and provide transferable skills.
In the first of three programs, members from Nak’azdli Whut’en, Tl’azt’en, Takla Lake and Yekooche First Nations will have access range of training programs. Funding for the program totals $560,000.
Programs include foundational courses in piping trades and carpentry delivered by the College of New Caledonia; an office technology course; and Weaving Our Way, an employment readiness program, all delivered by the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association. Programs will take up to 36 members and will take place in Fort St. James, as well as the Takla Lake community.
Trades courses provide a training path leading to an apprenticeship certification. Weaving Our Way will help participants overcome barriers to employment and gain skills in finding and maintaining employment. The office technology program will help prepare participants for entry-level careers in clerical, administrative and booking roles in a variety of organizations.
The province is also funding $150,000 in carpentry training for eight members of Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations, delivered by the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association in partnership with the College of New Caledonia. Training will be delivered in Fort Fraser and the Stellat’en community.
Participants will receive carpentry-apprenticeship training, which builds on training delivered in the community last year. Practical projects will be done in co-operation with Stellat’en First Nation and program graduates will gain the skills equivalent to that of a second-year apprentice.
The province is also providing $100,000 to support 12 members of Saik’uz First Nation in an Aboriginal Employment Readiness Program, delivered by Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association in the Saik’uz First Nation community.
Participants will receive a range of safety certifications, including transportation of dangerous goods, confined space, fall protection, WHMIS and H2S training in a program which also addresses cultural identity, social connections, and barriers to employment.
The training will provide participants with the skills and required safety accreditation to pursue jobs and careers in construction, the natural resource and transportation industries, or as a stepping stone to further education.