Aboriginal youth from Central and Northern B.C. received the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to the federal-provincial partnership under the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement.
Approximately $329,000 was allocated to Quesnel Employment Services to run the First Nations Youth Training Program in Quesnel for participants from various First Nations in the areas.
Today, MLA for Cariboo North Coralee Oakes, along with representatives from First Nations communities and program partners, met some of the students who completed the training.
The training included life and employment skills, and prepared participants for jobs such as cooks, camp attendants, construction helpers and labourers in the natural resources sector, which includes mining, oil and gas, and forestry. It was delivered in partnership with Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd. Industry supporters included West Fraser Mills, Tolko Industries, the Silva Gro Partnership, Redrock Camps, Barkerville Gold Mine, and Blue Collar Camps.
Many students who completed the program earlier this month are now working thanks to the skills they gained in the program, while others are in the job application and interview process, with support from their local WorkBC centres.
The skills training projects support B.C.’s regional labour-market demands and provide opportunities to youth, women, Aboriginal people, immigrants and other eligible participants to receive training, as well as industry-recognized certificates or credentials.
Through the Canada Job Fund, the Government of Canada provides $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training. Under the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement, the province receives a total of $65 million per year – its per-capita share of the available funding.
The Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement helps ensure training programs give individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market. The Employer-Sponsored Training stream provides funding for project-based, time-limited, employer-driven training that leads to a job at the end of training. This includes targeted projects delivered by Aboriginal service providers, post-secondary institutions, industry associations, community groups, and private trainers that meet regional labour market needs. Employers also provide either financial or in-kind contributions to support the training.
Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North –
“Many jobs in the Cariboo region are in the natural resources sector. The First Nations Youth Training Program delivered by Quesnel Employment Services is an excellent example of targeted training specifically designed to help Aboriginal youth in our communities, so they can get the skills they need to work for local jobs in natural resources.
“It was a great opportunity to meet some of the students who have successfully completed the program and are now ready to join the workforce. I wish them best of luck in their job placement and future careers.”
William Roach, managing partner, Quesnel Employment Services –
“What a great group of people! Very polite and respectful!
All these students need is an opportunity to prove themselves in the workforce. I truly believe they will become great role models in their respective communities.”
Tammy Lee, case manager, WorkBC Employment Services Centre in Quesnel –
“I really enjoy working with the participants attending the First Nation Youth Training Program. This program offers opportunities for personal growth and employment. In addition, I strongly believe that these participants will gain a valuable understanding of both their own skill sets and the labour market.”
Mark Courtney, president, Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd. –
“Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd. has offered the First Nations Youth Training Program since 2009. The reasons for the success of this program are its uniqueness of working closely with participants in a non-traditional setting and the strong support it receives from industry.
“The partnership between Quesnel Employment Services and Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd. has been an exciting development in the last two years and we have had great results securing employment and further education for participants. Funding opportunities such as the Canada-B.C. Job Fund make programs such as ours possible. The future is bright for the program and we look forward to continuing to work with aboriginal youth from communities across B.C.”
Kimberley Keene, supervisor, Blue Collar Camps –
“It was a real pleasure to work with the group this year. We had a very dynamic group of young adults from all across B.C. It's really interesting to see the difference in each of them at the beginning of the six-and-a-half weeks compared to the final day. They have all come together as a group and have learned to live and work together, developed many lifelong friendships, and they are really excited about the future and pursuing new work opportunities. I am really looking forward to keeping in touch with each of them to see how they are doing in months and years down the road.”
Shaylee Jack, student participant –
“‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’ I've heard this once and only really believed this while I was in the First Nations Job Skill Training with Blue Collar. I didn't only do what I could, but I gave it my best effort, and I tried a lot of new things. With what I have? Well I didn't have much experience to start with, but in the end I gained more than I expected and I am proud of myself for completing it. And where I was? It made me feel happy, being around everyone who I can now call my friends. This training was more than I imagined, and today, I am so thankful for everything and everyone that I got out of it.”
- Participants in the program were from the following First Nations communities:
- Nazko First Nation,
- Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation,
- Lhtako Dene Nation,
- Alkali Lake (Esketemc First Nation),
- Gitsegukla First Nation,
- Kaska Dene Nation,
- Nisga’a Lisims Nation,
- Long Plain First Nation,
- Alexandria First Nation (Esdilagh First Nation),
- Poundmaker Cree Nation, and
- Moricetown band.
- B.C. is expecting almost one million job openings by 2025.
- According to the B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook, up to 54,600 job openings are expected in the North Coast and Nechako, Northeast and Cariboo regions by 2025.
- Two-thirds of B.C.’s job openings will be from retirements and one-third from economic growth.
- Almost 80% of job openings in B.C. will require post-secondary education.
- The B.C. government invests more than $7.8 billion each year in education and training.
- Through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, $3 billion in training investments will be redirected to in-demand jobs over the next 10 years.
First Nations Youth Training Program: http://www.firstnationsyouthnrtp.com/
Quesnel Employment Services: http://www.quesnelemploymentservices.com/
Canada Job Fund: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/training_agreements/cjf/index.shtml
British Columbia’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/skills
B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2025: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx