First Nations training needs a big change

With so called megaprojects slated for the northwest, First Nations people should be positioning themselves for the jobs that should result

Dear Sir:

With all these so called megaprojects slated for the northwest, First Nations people should be positioning themselves for the thousands of jobs that should result.

It seems to me that getting First Nations people into the workforce here in the northwest does not seem to be first on the government’s priority list, but spending millions of dollars on training them with little to show doesn’t seem to bother them either.

There are numerous funding agencies and training facilities that are vying for educational funding here in the northwest with a particular emphasis on First Nations. Their poor records speak for themselves – how many First Nations people have successfully completed programs that are actually employed in the area due to this training and, in addition, making enough to support their families.

Let our community college (which caters to First Nations enrolments) and other training providers show you their success rates (students completing the programs or else getting employment after their training). The low numbers (if they would provide them) would surprise you.

As a past instructor in the trades, I came to realize that many complex issues are involved and may need to be overcome in the success of a First Nations person. Understanding these complexities needs to be addressed and understood by government, funding agencies, training providers and the prospective bands that may sponsor the student.

Whining to the government for more handouts to the tune of millions of dollars will not solve the problem, but better management and accountability might help a little.

My experience has been that these various players for millions of dollars a year from government educational programs are all somewhat disconnected from one another and fail miserably in communicating and helping in the students’ success.

The “same old same old” methods have become a ongoing cash cow for all concerned and only benefits them by keeping them employed and padding their wallets without really helping the First Nations person at all.

I recently spent several months talking to various First Nations people as well as the funding agencies, training providers, past instructors, and band leaders before  coming to this conclusion.

There has got to be some accountability for the dollars spent on First Nations education with some feedback mechanism to assure that there are bona fide positive results.

The positive results would come in the form of getting First Nations people employed in the various areas that they are trained in within the northwest. This would probably require a person that has some autonomous authority to act as a liaison between government, the funding agencies, the training providers, the different bands, the prospective student and potential employers in the area.

The person would work with all concerned parties  but this person’s sole interest would be for the success of the student.

It would require following the process from the  desire to be trained to actually finding a job with a  potential employer in the area.

David Bowen

Terrace, BC

Just Posted

Moose hunting restrictions proposed to help balance population and allocation

Regulation options set to move forward with input by April or May 2018

Province to boost ER services at Mills Memorial

Money to add salaried doctor positions

Province opens public input on policing standards

The move flows from recommendations of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry

Terrace hockey player breaks all-time points record in Major Midget League

Prospects are bright for Mason Richey, suiting up this fall with the West Kelowna Warriors

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals on the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

Terrace Interiors Ltd. to close after 56 years

The interior paint store will shut its doors on May 10

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Most Read