The B.C. government is investing $403,615 to provide welding and metal fabrication training for people from First Nations communities under a Labour Market Sector Solutions (LMSS) partnership between the B.C. government and the Resource Training Organization (RTO).
Funded through the Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA), the First Nations Dual Foundation Welder C/Metal Fabricator Level l Program is designed to prepare 24 eligible First Nations individuals from the Fraser Valley and Sto:Lo territory for skilled employment in these industries. The program is being delivered through a 30-week Welder C program at Seabird College in Agassiz and a 10-week Level l Fabricator program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
Following completion of the Level C Welder program, RTO expects 16 of the participants to continue with their studies to obtain their Level l Metal Fabrication. Participants who do not advance further than Level C Welder will go directly into the welding-trade workforce. In order to qualify for the program, participants must be either unemployed and not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI), or employed but low-skilled. In addition, they must not have received or been eligible for EI in the last 36 months, and they cannot already be a student.
As a direct result of federal Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada.
The Resource Training Organization oversees the management and development of apprenticeship training for the resource sector in B.C. RTO represents a cross-sector group of employers in the mining and smelting, oil and gas, pulp and paper, solid wood, and heavy shipbuilding and repair sectors.
Government is actively creating awareness and encouraging Aboriginal people to consider careers in the trades through programs like the Aboriginal Community-Based Delivery Partnerships Program and the Aboriginal Training for Employment Program.
The programs are supported by the BC Jobs Plan and the BC Skills and Training Plan, which invests $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in skills and trades training programs.
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
"Government is committed to ensuring that people have the skills they need to fill job openings in B.C. This First Nations dual foundation program will help participants acquire valuable skills to successfully gain employment in the fields of welding and metal fabrication across the province."
Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -
"Aboriginal participation in apprenticeship training programs at public post-secondary institutions increased by about 120 per cent between 2006 and 2012. Each year, government invests more than $13 million in LMA funds for Aboriginal skills training programs, including entrepreneurial training for Aboriginal youth, community-based employment and skills training for unemployed Aboriginal people, and job supports to prepare Aboriginal youth to enter and remain attached to the labour force."
Victoria Pazukha, manager of strategic initiatives, Resource Training Organization -
"The overall focus of the First Nations Dual Foundation and Metal Fabrication program is on increasing regional workforce capabilities by directly matching skills development to economic opportunities within the region. The program will equip participants with essential skills and vocational knowledge required to start successful trades careers and establish sustainable employment in the resource sector. We appreciate the co-operation and support from the First Nations community, industry, training providers and government in helping reduce barriers to industry training for aboriginals and increase Aboriginals' labour market participation."
- Currently there are more than 20,000 people in B.C. employed in welding and fabrication trades in B.C. (Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey 2012).
- New employment opportunities and job creation in industries such as manufacturing, construction and natural resources have the potential to add an additional 2,000 direct jobs over next 10 years.
- The current number of Welder and Metal Fabrication registered apprentices:
- Welder: 1,937
- Metal Fabricator: 442
- By providing support to sectors and employers experiencing changing labour market conditions, the Labour Market Sector Solutions program helps to address needs by providing training to eligible individuals.
- The program invests in the skills development of eligible participants, and assists sectors, industries, employers and workers to address any identified labour market imbalances.
- Under the Labour Market Agreement, the Government of Canada is providing the B.C. government approximately $66 million annually until 2013-14.
- The Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) funds programs and services for employed people who are low-skilled and for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
Resource Training Organization: www.rtobc.com/
Sto:Lo First Nation: www.stolonation.bc.ca/
Fraser Valley First Nation: fraservalleymetisnation.com/
Seabird College: www.seabirdisland.ca/
Thompson Rivers University: www.tru.ca/
Labour Market Sector Solutions Program: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/sector-partnerships/labour-market-sector-solutions-program.htm
WorkBC skills training programs: www.workbc.ca/Education-Training/Programs/Pages/Employment-Programs.aspx
Industry Training Authority: www.itabc.ca
Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement information: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/labourmarketagreement/
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour