Thursday, April 30, 2015

Province and Industry combine for trades training for First Nations

A major announcement on funding for trades training for First Nations was announced Wednesday at the Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference in Prince Rupert.

During the Wednesday morning session John Rustad, British Columbia's Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, outlined the background to a 1.2 million dollar pathways to success program for six First Nations communities in the Northwest.

“One of the great things about this program is that it helps First Nations members first get job-ready with the essential employment skills they need, and then connects them directly with jobs. This provides significant benefits for both First Nations members and their communities.”  -- Minister John Rustad, Provincial Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation,with an outline to the benefits of the trades program for Northwest First Nations.

The Trades program to be delivered in both Prince Rupert and Terrace by the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology will provide training opportunities for members of the Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Lax Kw'alaams, Gitxaala, Metlakatla and Gitga'at communities.

600,000 dollars in funding will come from the Provincial Government, with the remaining 600,000 to be provided by three industry partners in the Northwest, BG Canada, LNG Canada and Pacific NorthWest LNG

“Skills training for First Nations people is a priority for our community. So it’s good see government and industry supporting training that will help ensure more members of our community benefit from jobs in the LNG industry.” -- Chief Clarence Inness, of Gitxaala on the training opportunities that the program will provide.

The announcement was included in Mr. Rustad's address to the convention delegates at the Lester Centre on Wednesday, a day which included a string of presentations from many of the large LNG proponents for the region as well as an overview on Port development from Don Krusel of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

One of the major themes of each presentation was the opportunities, both in partnership and by way of employment that First Nations could have access to through Port and LNG development in the region in the years to come.

You can learn more about Wednesday's announcement from this background sheet from the Provincial Government. Included in that media release, are the comments from each of the three LNG proponents in the region and the enthusiasm that they have for the training program.

The Aboriginal Opportunities Conference comes to an end today, with the wrap up banquet and entertainment session planned for this evening.

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