Giving Aboriginal learners the skills to succeed for in-demand jobs: B.C.

Giving Aboriginal learners the skills to succeed for in-demand jobs: B.C.

VICTORIA – More than 30 Aboriginal communities in partnership with 14 public post-secondary education institutions are delivering education and skills training programs to help 581 Aboriginal learners secure jobs in sectors facing a demand for skilled workers.

In 2015-16, a total of 29 programs will be delivered in Aboriginal communities and will prepare participants for jobs such as language support workers, human service workers, health care translators, wildlife tour operators, fisheries technicians and health care assistants.

For First Nation communities near Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake:

$178,853 to the College of New Caledonia and Saik’uz First Nation partnership

Funding is to deliver college and career preparation. Participants will undergo a skills assessment and enrol in appropriate English, math or computer courses. 15 Aboriginal learners will benefit.

$236,677 to the College of New Caledonia and Saik’uz, Nadleh Whut’en and the Stellat’en First Nations partnership

Funding is to deliver the Aboriginal workplace readiness program. Participants will focus on subjects such as Aboriginal culture, computer skills and financial literacy. Students will obtain certificate including occupational first aid and resource road radio operation. 24 Aboriginal learners will benefit.

46% of the Aboriginal population in B.C. is under 25 and increasing their participation in the workforce is important to supporting a diverse, strong and growing economy.

The programs are being supported with $5.7 million through Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program. The funding amount includes $1.4 million from the Ministry of Advanced Education and $4.3 million from the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-B.C. Job Fund Agreement. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is also contributing $1 million for these training programs.

A total of 348 proposals for funding from 135 individual organizations were submitted to the B.C. government for ESS funding by the application deadline in April. In 2015-16, a total of $36.4 million was provided to the province for all ESS programs, including the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships programs and programs available through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.