Indigenous communities, ITA build skilled trades workforces (

Media Contacts

Sean Leslie

Communications Director
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
250 356-8485

Lubna Ekramoddoullah

Communications Specialist
Industry Training Authority
604 318-7689

Sarah Artis

Sarah & Company Communications, on behalf of Kitselas First Nation
250 615-0425


Hands-on trades training supports Indigenous communities

$7.5 million will support an estimated 478 people in Indigenous communities throughout B.C. in gaining access to skills training in the trades. Two-year programs began Sept. 1, 2019, and will run until Aug. 31, 2021.

Supporting its commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and reconciliation, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) worked with Indigenous communities to develop a procurement process for this funding that would eliminate barriers and increase participation.

Administered by the ITA, the funding comes from the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement, signed in 2018. Programs receiving funds are:

  • All Roads: First Nations Trades Training – the Construction Foundation of BC is receiving more than $2 million over two years to provide individualized services, including employment/apprenticeship opportunities, to 110 participants in Nuxalk Nation, Lytton First Nation, Blueberry River First Nation, Ahousaht First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, Tl’etinqox and Witset First Nation.
  • Alternate Pathway to Electrical – ACCESS is receiving more than $900,000 over two years to provide essential skills and electrical foundation training to 32 participants in Burnaby and Port Coquitlam.
  • Careers in Construction Trades – Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops is receiving almost $1.5 million over two years to provide essential skills and introductory programs, such as construction craft worker, heavy equipment operator and a trades sampler program to 100 participants in Kamloops, Lillooet and Chase.
  • Indigenous People in Trades Training – Camosun College is receiving almost $1.4 million over two years to provide exploratory trades skills foundation courses to 160 participants at its Interurban campus and at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.
  • Kitselas Community-Led Apprenticeship Development – Kitselas First Nation is receiving more than $1.2 million over two years to provide introductory training and industry certifications to 48 participants in Gitaus.
  • Transition and Heavy Mechanic Foundation Program – TRU’s Williams Lake campus is receiving almost $478,000 to provide a heavy mechanics foundation program, including wraparound supports and industry certifications to 28 participants in Williams Lake.