More than 90 Aboriginal learners in Northern B.C. are receiving training in their communities through five programs that will help them prepare for jobs such as health care assistants, skilled trades people and residential building maintenance assistants.
The programs are delivered through partnerships involving the College of New Caledonia and the Tl’azt’en Nation, the Yekooche First Nation, the Takla Lake First Nation, the Saik’uz First Nation, the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation and the Stellat’en First Nation.
The programs are supported with more than $1.15 million through the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program. The funding includes more than $250,000 from the Ministry of Advanced Education and more than $900,000 from the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement.
A total of 348 proposals for funding from 135 individual organizations were submitted to the B.C. government for ESS funding by the application deadline in April 2015. In 2016-17, a total of $43.4 million was provided to the Province for all ESS programs, including the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships programs and programs available through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.
The Canada-B.C. Job Fund helps ensure training programs give individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market. The goal of ESS is to increase the labour market participation of British Columbians by assisting them to prepare for entry to, or return to, sustainable employment.
The programs support the BC Jobs Plan, B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, and the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan (Aboriginal Framework).
The Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program is also one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities. To further support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies, the Province will be releasing a Rural Economic Development Strategy in the near future.
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –
“Almost one million job openings are expected in B.C. by 2025. Community-based training partnerships will reduce the skills gap by providing Aboriginal students with the education that is needed to get the skills to be first in line for these jobs.”
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister and MLA for Nechako Lakes John Rustad –
“Completing post-secondary education and training is the primary avenue for Aboriginal students looking to participate in the B.C. economy. Community-based training will connect Aboriginal students with the skills they need for jobs in their region.”
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond –
“Community-based programs like this are important because they connect Aboriginal learners in the North with essential work skills, as well as the education and training they need for in-demand jobs such as health care and the trades.”
Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris –
“Improving access to education and training that leads to jobs is a priority of the B.C. government. Community-based training will help Aboriginal learners acquire the workplace skills they need to be part of our growing regional economy.”
College of New Caledonia president Henry Reiser –
“The College of New Caledonia continues to work with aboriginal partners to expand economic development in north central BC communities. Through this partnership, 91 Aboriginal learners through the college will have the chance to develop marketable skills and participate in the growth where they live. 27% of CNC’s domestic students are Aboriginal and in some of our communities the numbers are double that – we are always looking for ways to provide them with training that will lead to job opportunities.”
BC Jobs Plan and Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/economy/aboriginal-peoples-first-nations/?WT.cg_n=HootSuite
B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx
Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/training_agreements/cjf/index.page?WT.cg_n=HootSuite
Aboriginal Framework: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/policy-framework.htm
A backgrounder follows.