Kitselas First Nation seeks to collaborate with WorkBC to offer its community members a new program which helps them transition into careers in the skilled trades.
As part of this initiative Kitselas Employment and Training along with WorkBC offer services to participants of the Kitselas community-led apprenticeship development (KCAD) program.
The participants are provided with living allowances, protection of employment insurance claims, resume writing and job-search information, as well as the costs associated with starting work. The program also provides an opportunity for them to become registered apprentices.
The KCAD program is currently training its third group since it launched in 2019. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the program continued to be delivered online where they were introduced to apply the essential skills they learnt to the trades.
Participants were provided a mix of hands-on activities along with the online learning courses.
According to James Seymour, project manager of KCAD, the greatest benefit has been seeing the participants grow in self-confidence and self-esteem.
“Their confidence increases as they acquire the hands-on experience that reinforces their mastery of Essential Skills,” he said.
An added bonus, he said, is that the work on community projects gives the participants more time to be with family by eliminating the need to travel elsewhere in the region for work.
The current participants of the program are building a 2500 sq. ft. community trades shop along with a 700 sq. ft. classroom.