Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, (centre, back row) poses with graduates from the Kitselas First Nation’s training program, following Thursday’s announcement. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

B.C. Indigenous communities receive funding for hands-on trades training

Nuxalk, Witset, Penticton Indian Band, TRU Williams Lake, and Camosun College among beneficiaries

The province announced funding for six new two-year training programs for Indigenous communities throughout B.C.

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announced Thursday in Gitaus, that the Industry Training Authority (ITA) is providing $7.5 million to support the trades careers training programs, with funding from the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement (WDA).

“For years, Indigenous leaders have been calling for skills training opportunities closer to home to support their community’s needs and self-determination,” Mark said. “Our government is responding to this Call to Action by working in partnership with Indigenous communities, the Industry Training Authority and employers. These new programs will create pathways for Indigenous workers to take advantage of the tens of thousands of in-demand jobs forecasted in the trades over the next decade.”

The programs are estimated to assist more than 475 people and will address community opportunities with courses ranging from exploratory and introductory trades to construction and electrical training.

“These new programs will ensure more individuals have opportunities to access training and become apprentices while giving them the tools to be successful,” said Shelley Gray, CEO, ITA.

READ MORE: All Nations Driving Academy gets boost from province

Programs include Kitselas First Nation’s Kitselas Community-Led Apprenticeship Development. Over two years, an estimated 48 people will receive introductory trades training that will pave the way to apprenticeships.

“Investments from industries, such as LNG, mean it’s busy right now in northwest B.C., with tremendous opportunities to secure long-lasting careers in the skilled trades,” said Judy Gerow, Chief Councillor, Kitselas First Nation. “A successful career in the trades translates into economic security for families in our communities.”

The programs receiving funds are:

The Construction Foundation of BC is receiving more than $2 million to provide individualized services, including employment and 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 to provide electrical foundation training to 32 participants in Burnaby and Port Coquitlam.
  • Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops is receiving almost $1.5 million over two years to provide introductory programs, such as construction craft worker, heavy equipment operator and a trades sampler program to 100 participants in Kamloops, Lillooet and Chase.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Camosun College, at its Interurban campus and at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, is receiving almost $1.4 million over two years to provide exploratory trades skills foundation courses to 160 participants.

READ MORE: Coast Mountain College’s indigenization efforts recognized at international symposium


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

UPDATED: Some states of local emergency suspended by ministerial order

Suspension applies to regional districts but not First Nations

A letter from Bella Coola doctors on COVID-19: ‘All our lives depend on your actions now’

“None of us are invincible; we can all get it and spread it without even knowing.”

COVID-19: Bella Coola RCMP close detachment front door access

The public is being asked to call 250 799 5363 for assistance

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read