BC Government: Funding connects Indigenous youth to trades, job training

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by ahnationtalk on September 5, 2022292 Views

NORTH VANCOUVER – As many as 24 eligible people will receive employment skills to help them prepare for jobs as certified building maintenance workers in the Lower Mainland’s busy skilled trades sector.

This new provincial Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project focuses on training for Indigenous youth.

“This project creates employment opportunities for Squamish Nation youth and is an example of how government works with communities to deliver in-demand training for Indigenous people,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Participants who complete this program will also obtain building maintenance worker certification, opening doors to promising careers.”

The Province is providing more than $575,000 to the Squamish Nation to deliver skills and certification courses in two intakes of its Indigenous building maintenance worker training program in North Vancouver.

Participants will receive 23 weeks of training, including: five weeks of essential and employability skills training, 12 weeks of occupational skills training, four weeks of on-the-job experience with local employers and two weeks of followup support to assist in their job search.

Participants will also receive certification courses in personal protective equipment, Occupational First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS), confined spaces, ladder safety, fall protection, transportation endorsement, and excavation and shoring safety. In addition, the program delivers a cultural component based on Squamish Nation traditions.

“Thanks to this funding, more Sk_wx_wu´7mesh youth can enrol in our building maintenance worker program and get the necessary certification and training to launch their career in the trades sector,” said Squamish Nation spokesperson Wilson Williams (Sxwíxwtn). “These high-paying, in-demand jobs set program graduates on a path towards a bright and successful future.”

“My instructors are very supportive, patient and motivating in teaching me so much about the industry. I feel confident that I’m gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to land my dream trades job,” said Keeta Newman, a Squamish Nation member enrolled in the program.

Upon completion of their training, work experience, and the Level 1 building maintenance worker exam, participants will be qualified to maintain and repair residential buildings. They will be able to identify, troubleshoot and perform maintenance and repairs on drywall, plumbing, roofing and carpentry, as well as other jobs.

“The Squamish Nation’s project will provide Indigenous students with the skills and experience they need to secure well-paying jobs in building maintenance,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “I wish the participants all the best and look forward to working with other First Nations to provide more opportunities for Indigenous students in the skilled trades here in B.C.”

“Through this new training program, more Squamish Nation people will get the skills and experience they need to pursue a career and fill the growing number of jobs in building maintenance in our region,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale.

Full-time, group-based classroom learning for the second intake of this project started Aug. 15, 2022. Project activities run until Feb. 17, 2023. Anyone interested in finding out more about this or other CEP projects can contact their local WorkBC centre.

Quick Facts:

  • Funding for this project is provided through the Project Based Labour Market Training stream of WorkBC’s CEP.
  • CEP investments are targeted at projects that support an inclusive economic recovery.
  • CEP projects support B.C. job seekers’ training and work experience and help businesses and communities address labour market challenges.
  • Through CEP, the Province invests $15 million annually in communities throughout B.C.
  • In 2021-22, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction provided approximately $3.4 million from CEP to support Indigenous Peoples and communities.
  • This announcement is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

Learn More:

Learn how CEPs are helping local communities:

Learn about how WorkBC can help find British Columbians jobs that are right for them: www.workbc.ca/rightforyou

Find your local WorkBC centre:

Squamish Nation: https://www.squamish.net/


Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Media Relations
250 889-8370


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