From: Métis Nation British Columbia (https://www.mnbc.ca/news/2021/sitem-release/)
Métis citizens will have more access to long-term employment opportunities thanks to an expansion of SITÉM, Métis Nation British Columbia’s (MNBC) training and employment program. In addition to providing Métis citizens with vital skills training and employment readiness programs, Metis regions will receive funding to carry out skills capacity assessments. For 2021-2022, MNBC has secured $16 million in funding for the Ministry of Employment and Skills Training from the Government of Canada and Province of B.C.
Of the total 2021-2022 budget of $16 million, $8 million is from Indigenous Skills & Employment Training (ISET) from Service Canada, $4 million in Post-Secondary Education Strategy (PSE) funding from Indigenous Services Canada and $3.8 million in provincial funding through the Stronger BC Economic Recovery Plan. On top of this, $3.3 million in previously unannounced funding through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement will provide additional opportunities for Métis people to complete training programs, obtain employment or self-employment, or move on to further education or training.
“Targeted training means that Indigenous people can build their skills for in-demand jobs or prepare to pursue further post-secondary education,” said Anne Kang, B.C.’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This funding is an important component of B.C.’s recent $15-million investment for skills training and education programs to help Indigenous people across B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19. This funding is enabling Indigenous communities and education partners, including MNBC through SITÉM, to provide new short-term training programs that are tailored to the needs of their citizens.”
B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training is also providing one-time funding of $150,000 to support MNBC’s work in the areas of skills training and post-secondary education in the 2021/22 fiscal year.
Included in the funding is funds for SITÉM, which brings skills training, education, and employment programs to Métis Chartered Communities. The training is strategically designed to meet community regional demands and focuses on in-demand jobs within the respective regions. In addition to skills training, the program will also provide the necessary wrap-around supports such as start-up tools, lunch programs, job coaches, work practicums and much more. The funding was a part of the historic $79-million budget approved by the BC Cabinet last month (mnbc.ca) .
“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Government of Canada and Province of B.C. for this important initiative,” said Dean Gladue, Minister of Employment and Skills Training, MNBC. “Métis citizens are eager to invest in their education and training and expanding this important program will ensure that many more of them can go on to rewarding careers and enjoy the same quality of life that most British Columbians enjoy.”
To help Métis regions gain a better understanding of their skills inventory and the training needs for their region, MNBC is providing $152,000 to Métis Chartered Communities for skills capacity assessments. That information will be used by MNBC and Regional Directors to collaboratively determine how best to design training offerings to bridge any identified gaps. The regional allocation of that funding ($4,000 per Chartered Community) is as follows: R1 ($28,000), R2 ($24,000), R3 ($32,000), R4 ($24,000); R5 ($16,000), R6 ($12,000) and R7 ($16,000). Regions also have the option of pooling their funding. (Do we need to get into the weeds with this?)
“Self-sufficiency as an individual tends to lead to self-sufficiency as a Nation,” said David Allard, President of Salmon Arm Métis Association. “These new funds are welcome and appreciated. Let’s all work together for a better future.”
The comprehensive services provided to Métis Citizens and Chartered Communities through the SITÉM program are wide-ranging. They include:
- Employment assistance services: Personal management skills; pre-employment assessments; job search skills and assistance; employment/career counselling; resume writing assistance; mentoring/coaching and more.
- Skills training and education: Occupational skills training delivered through public or private post-secondary institutions; short duration training certificates/courses; literacy, essential skills and language training, and adult basic education; apprenticeships & etc.
- Financial supports enabling program participation: Transportation; training/learning tools; lodging; equipment or work gear; course materials; emergency support & etc.
- Employment experience: Wage subsidies to employers; direct supports to employers to support participant employment (e.g., developing training plans); post-job placement supports such as counselling, coaching and mentoring.
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) represents nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis people in British Columbia, approximately one-third of the Indigenous population in B.C. The Métis National Council, the Government of Canada, and the B.C. Government, recognize MNBC as the governing body for the Métis people in B.C. MNBC develops and enhances opportunities for Métis communities by implementing culturally relevant social and economic programs and services, for all self-identified Métis within B.C., regardless of citizenship with MNBC.