Under the Aboriginal Community Based Training Partnerships Program, The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, has approved $1 million in funding for the Building Capacity and Community through Construction Trades Program (BCCCT) in the Secwepemc territory.
This program, which is funded by the Government of Canada, through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund and the Province of B.C., allows participants to enter training intakes that are relevant to their experience and skill level.
The BCCCT program will be delivered over the next three years and includes the Construction Craft Worker Level 1 Apprenticeship, Carpentry Red Seal Exam Preparatory Course and a Carpentry and Joinery Foundation program.
Students will receive multiple worksite safety tickets, essential skills and employment preparation courses in the program, which begins on April 16, 2018.
Melanie Mark, Minister for Advanced Education, Skills and Training, shared the close link between skill-based training and education.
“Delivering skills training in local communities in the Secwepemc territory makes education more accessible for Indigenous learners,” she said.
She also explained the importance of education and the role it plays in creating opportunities for First Nation people and their communities.
“Investing in education and training for Indigenous learners is aligned with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action that our government is committed to supporting,” she said.
Thompson Rivers University will be providing instruction and certification for the program, although the majority of the training will take place in the communities.
Tk’emlups Chief Fred Seymour, explained that the training will be hands on and connected to First Nation industry partnerships.
“We are eager to collaborate with Thompson Rivers University and Neskonlith Indian Band in bringing trades training to our communities, which will create employment opportunities for our members and assist us with infrastructure upgrades,” he said.
Kukpi7 Chief Judy Wilson, also expressed excitement for the upcoming partnership between Neskonlith Indian Band, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and Thompson Rivers University.
She explained that they are eager to work towards a viable workforce that can help enhance First Nation communities and their economies.
“It is our goal to fill gaps in the construction sector by providing trades, knowledge, skills and experience that can guide participants into a career in housing, commercial building or entrepreneurship,” she said.
Dr. Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor, said that TRU Trades and Technology has a long history of serving students and employers.
“We look forward to our continued partnerships with Tk’emlups and Neskonlith communities to equip students with in-demand, job-ready skills and certifications,” he said.
The BCCCT Program provides opportunities for participants to develop carpentry and construction skills training and participate in applied work experience in community and industry.
Baldev Pooni, Dean of Trades and Technology, explained that the program will have a significant impact on development.
“This initiative will result in rewarding careers for graduates, which will also build capacity in and build more sustainable communities,” he said.