The Province is providing $95,000 so 10 Aboriginal students in the Campbell River-area can learn the skills needed for employment in the British Columbia road building and forestry machinery sector.
The program is being delivered through a partnership with Nanwakolas Council and Vancouver Island University (VIU).
Participants will complete a five-week Road Builder Foundation course that provides an overview of the industry, including:
- Safe work practices;
- Environmental requirements;
- Orientations to equipment and tools;
- Introduction to principles of civil engineering;
- Graduating students will also satisfy the pre-requisite requirements for the Industry Training Authority Heavy Equipment Operator Technician (Apprenticeship) program.
There is another element to the overall training where students will have access to Vancouver Island University’s forestry/heavy equipment simulators. The technology used in these simulators replicates forestry and heavy equipment machinery and the unique training provides participants with an opportunity to try a wide variety of machines in a safe and educational setting.
The funding is being made available through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement that supports training programs that provide individuals the skills to enter and succeed in the job market.
The program is also one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities, as outlined in the Province’s Rural Economic Development Strategy.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“We want to keep forest-dependent communities strong on Vancouver Island and throughout the province. By connecting industry labour shortages with training programs and building our partnership with First Nations, industry and post-secondary institutions, we will achieve our goal.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
"Access to well-paying jobs and economic participation are keys to shared prosperity with First Nations. By providing funding for Aboriginal skills training, we are promoting greater First Nations participation in a dynamic and rapidly changing labour market. With almost one million job openings anticipated by 2025, Aboriginal people and First Nation communities will be critical to meeting our future workforce demands and keeping our economy diverse, strong and growing.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“This project will provide First Nation participants with the training needed to work in B.C.’s road building and forestry machinery sector. Programs like this reduce barriers to skills training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and will lead them to good, well-paying jobs that will benefit the workers, their families and their First Nation community.”
Paul Mottershead, associate dean of trades and applied technology, Vancouver Island University –
“VIU is pleased to be able to provide mobile training to rural Aboriginal communities and to work with the communities and local forest companies to create employment opportunities in this industry sector.”
Sharon Hobenshield, director of Aboriginal education and engagement, Vancouver Island University –
“VIU works closely with our Aboriginal partners to identify opportunities where the learning for Aboriginal students can be brought to their community as we know this enhances their learning. VIU’s Forestry/HEO simulators fit perfectly into this model.”
Chief Robert Pollard, Wei Wai Kum First Nation –
“This training being delivered in our First Nations community is a great opportunity for the Wei Wai Kum and other Nanwakolas First Nations’ members to acquire in-demand job skills to help participants gain employment in the forest sector and other heavy equipment operations.”
Merv Child, President, Nanwakolas Council –
“I am very pleased to see this in-demand trades and apprenticeship skills training program being delivered. This investment helps to make progress with implementing recommendations of the 2016 Nanwakolas Training and Employment Strategy. It’s very encouraging to see these positive outcomes that result from collaborations built on our positive relationships with post-secondary institutions and industry of our region.”
- Through the BC Jobs Plan and the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the Province is working with Aboriginal and First Nation communities to ensure they are partners in economic growth, to strengthen education and skills training opportunities to improve employment outcomes and to drive productivity.
BC Jobs Plan and Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/economy/aboriginal-peoples-first-nations/?WT.cg_n=HootSuite
To find out more about the BC Rural Economic Development Strategy, visit: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/
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