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B.C. funding strategy helping First Nations members enter LNG and natural resources sectors
DAWSON CREEK – In another strategy of its Skills for Jobs Blueprint, B.C. is providing several different funding streams to First Nations members in northeast B.C. for entry into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural resource industries.
Forty participants from Prophet River and Fort Nelson First Nations will be assisted with college readiness and job training with a $314,000 investment from the Province.
The focus of this training will be on entry into the natural resource sector; welding, millwright, piping and electrical training will be administered by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) as prerequisites to academic and career programs.
Blueberry River First Nations will be receiving $324,000 from the Province, in the delivery of the Pathways to Success program, also administered by NVIT in Buick Creek.
This program will see 30 participants take part in classroom instruction and job placement into the service and industry sectors. They will learn skills such as food safety, occupational first aid, and hazardous material safety.
Another version of the Pathways to Success program will be brought to members of the Halfway River First Nation with a $97,000 investment in job readiness training, meant to increase confidence and competence as well as health and wellness over a six month period. NVIT will also be providing this program.
The Tsay Keh Dene Nation’s Workforce Development Initiative, administered by that community, will be receiving $323,000 to provide 90 individuals with various academic upgrading and career skills training.
Doig River First Nation will be receiving a Provincial investment of $52,000 to help provide its members with Class 1 Driver licence training. Class 4 training will also be provided under this funding program.
“First Nations are important partners in developing our resource economy. These skills training programs will help ensure Aboriginal people are prepared to meet the growing need for skilled workers here in the Peace Region,” said Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North.
More than 2,400 First Nations people to date have accessed training through the Industry Training Authority apprenticeship programs, states a press release from the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Aboriginal participation in apprenticeships has doubled since 2006.
BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint identifies a goal of increasing the number of First Nations people in the “provincial workforce” by 15,000 people over the next decade.
“Our people are an untapped resource. Through this project, we will grow the potential of our students so they will be able to begin to realize their own potential,” said Chief Liz Logan, Fort Nelson First Nation.
“The training will be in our community and focused on the needs of the students. Partnering with an Aboriginal institution ensures this approach. This program will help ensure that FNFN will be able to take their place in today’s and tomorrow’s economy.”