The British Columbia government is investing $2.7 million to ensure more First Nations people in the Lower Mainland have greater access to skills and trades training for LNG jobs.
Over the next three years, 188 participants from the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Kwikwetlem First Nations will receive new skills through courses administered by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). Eligible participants will include members who are unemployed, underemployed, receiving social assistance, recent high school graduates, or seeking a career change.
The content of the courses ranges from essential job skills and literacy upgrading to more advanced trades training in areas such as scaffolding, environmental monitoring, construction craft worker, carpentry and plumber, steamfitter or sprinkler fitter.
All courses are being funded through the $30-million Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund. Introduced earlier this year, the fund will provide up to $10 million annually over the next three years for Aboriginal skills training.
Offering community-driven skills training is part of the Province’s efforts to include First Nations in LNG sector opportunities. British Columbia is also working with First Nations on environmental stewardship priorities and financial benefits agreements.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“These courses have the potential to open up new worlds of opportunity for participants. Our government is pleased to provide support for this training which will provide significant benefits for the First Nations members and their communities for many years to come.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“Increasing Aboriginal participation in skills training is critical to the future success of British Columbia. Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing demographic in our province with half under the age of 25. Programs like these will provide Aboriginal people with the skills and work experience necessary to find their fit in our diverse, strong and growing economy."
Naomi Yamamoto, MLA, North Vancouver-Lonsdale –
“Skills training is one of the keys to future success in B.C. and this program will help put more First Nations members first-in-line for family-supporting jobs here in North Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.”
Chief Wayne Sparrow, Musqueam Indian Band –
“These are exciting times for our people and I congratulate the four First Nations in their successful funding application to the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. The Nations working together as a team will provide the much needed supports to help our people be successful in their career paths”.
Councillor Chris Lewis, Syeta'xtn, Squamish Nation –
“The Squamish Nation strives to create job opportunities and build careers for our members and we have had great success reaching that goal with our Trades Training Centre. This new partnership will also provide more opportunities to our members and other local First Nations in Metro Vancouver to achieve their first step into apprenticeship and full time employment. We look forward to the honor and privilege of working together with our Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Kwikwetlem Nations.”
Councillor Ed Hall, Sxep Xéylem, Kwikwetlem First Nation –
“It is with great honor that I get to give acknowledgements on behalf of Kwikwetlem First Nation to all parties involved in putting together such an important program. I can see this being of such great benefit to all future participants that will take the skills training. I am unable to emphasize the magnitude and importance this will be to our Nation going into the future.”
Councillor Deanna George, Tewalewet, Tsleil-Waututh Nation –
“TWN is committed to creating meaningful employment and training opportunities for its members. We look forward to working with our partners on this important project that will lead to 188 First Nations members being trained and able to get work in the growing trades sectors.”
Dr. Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University –
“KPU is proud to be working in concert with the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem First Nations to deliver training that will lead to employment opportunities in the LNG and construction industries. This unique partnership highlights KPU’s commitment to developing unique and strategic programming that meets the needs of industry, the province and B.C.’s Aboriginal communities.”
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/skills
Kwantlen Polytechnic University - trades and technology: http://www.kpu.ca/trades
Squamish Nation: http://www.squamish.net/
Musqueam Band: http://www.musqueam.bc.ca/
Tsleil-Waututh Nation: http://www.twnation.ca/
Kwikwetlem First Nation: http://www.kwikwetlem.com/
Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/
- Aboriginal people are a priority in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
- More than 40,000 Aboriginal British Columbians live in northern communities and almost half of all Aboriginal people in B.C. are under 25 years old.
- The participation of Aboriginal people in skills training programs is critical to the economic success of B.C. as a whole.
- Nov. 2-6, 2015, has been declared Apprenticeship Recognition Week by the B.C. government.
- Aboriginal participation in apprenticeship training has doubled since 2006.
- To date, more than 2,800 Aboriginal people have accessed pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training programs provided by the Industry Training Authority (ITA).
- In the past year, the ITA has added six apprenticeship advisors focused on supporting apprentices in Aboriginal communities.