A community-based approach to education and training will enable Aboriginal learners in the Lower Mainland to access training that will help prepare them for further education, and develop skills for careers in the trades.
"Our investment in training opportunities for Aboriginal learners is an investment in B.C.'s success," said Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk. "The Aboriginal community-based training programs are a good example of how we are taking action to ensure Aboriginal learners are able to access training that puts them on the path to a great future."
In the Lower Mainland, Aboriginal learners will develop job-related skills and prepare for careers in a variety of fields. For instance, 24 participants will receive training in Residential Building Maintenance Worker and the Stó:lo Studies Certificate programs with the University of the Fraser Valley.
"I am pleased that our government was able to be a contributing partner in this important initiative," said Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. "Training and skills development helps ensure Aboriginal youth can access the tools they need to secure employment and participate fully in Canada's economy."
Province-wide, 27 Aboriginal Community-based Delivery Partnership Programs totalling nearly $5.6 million are providing education and training opportunities for Aboriginal learners to develop job-ready skills in a wide variety of fields. The investment will help prepare Aboriginal learners develop job-related skills and build careers in the trades.
Over the last two years the Aboriginal community-based program committed $10 million in Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement funding, $4 million in Ministry of Advanced Education funding and $3 million in pilot project funds from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to support over 50 projects in 39 Aboriginal communities.
"The Aboriginal Community-based Delivery Partnerships Program improves access to education, skills and trades training for Aboriginal students," said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad. "These community-based programs support the BC Jobs Plan and enable Aboriginal British Columbians to gain the knowledge and skills they need to build a strong future for their families and communities, and to take advantage of economic opportunities."
The program was developed in collaboration with partner organizations including the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association.
"Community-based, culturally accessible programming is critical to improving outcomes in Aboriginal education," said First Nations Education Steering Committee president Tyrone McNeill. "This program is contributing to the success of Aboriginal learners, supporting hundreds of students in achieving their education and employment goals. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners under the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework to effectively meet community and learner needs, and strengthen this important support program."
The program was first announced in June 2012 and delivers on the commitments of the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan: 2020 Vision for the Future to improve partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal institutes and communities by 2013. Its goal is to increase the number of Aboriginal learners in rural and remote communities accessing post-secondary education and training programs by 2016.
Under the BC Jobs Plan, government is committed to providing funding for community-based delivery of programs that meet Aboriginal learners' needs.
A backgrounder is available at: http://bit.ly/1c1fB4R
Ministry of Advanced Education