TERRACE – A total of 278 First Nations people will benefit from $4-millionin new funding to help them become job ready for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.
The announcement was made Oct. 19 in Terrace with provincial aboriginal and reconciliation minister John Rustad, Nisga’a Lisims Government president Mitchell Stevens and Nisga’a Lisims Government executive chairperson Kevin McKay in attendance.
Over the next three years, a $2.1 million Nisga’a Lisims Path to Employment program will provide training, work experience and entry to trades apprenticeships for 215 participants from the Nisga’a communities.
The program covers introduction to trades or carpentry foundational skills, employment placement and work experience, as well as basic job skills and acquiring work skills certificates.
These include first aid/CPR, road safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and driver training. The program will be administered by the Nisga’a Employment and Skills Training (NEST) Department of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.
Over the next three years, a $1.6 million environmental stewardship technicians training program will also be provided to 48 participants from up to 13 First Nations communities on the central and north coast and Haida Gwaii.
Participants will receive industry-recognized training and certifications in areas such as environmental monitoring of fish and fish habitat, water, lands and construction sites and conducting inventories of archaeological features.
They will also gain knowledge and experience in monitoring environmental compliance, protected area management and small motor servicing. The program will be administered by the Great Bear Initiative Society and Vancouver Island University.
A further investment of $300,000 over the next three years will support the creation of a Gitanyow First Nation Employment and Training In stitute which will develop and deliver a range of skills training programs.
The funding will also provide 15 Gitanyow members with accredited training in areas such as wildlife monitoring; transportation of dangerous goods; All terrain vehicle (ATV) training, as well as land clearing and construction.
The program will be administered by the Gitanyow Huwilp Society.
All three programs are being funded through the B.C. government’s $30 million Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund.
The fund supports strategies outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the overall goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal people in the provincial workforce by 15,000 over the next 10 years.
Said Mitchell Stevens from the Nisga’a Lisims Government: “The Nisga’a Nation strives for sustainable prosperity and self-reliance and the Nisga’a Lisims Path to Employment program will contribute towards our vision.”
“The program adds to the capacity of our people to participate in the major developments which are coming soon to our region. NEST has already successfully delivered training programs to our people and this funding will enhance NEST’s resources to deliver even more,” he said.