HAZELTON - Getting more First Nations members job-ready by expanding skills training opportunities is the focus of a new project being undertaken by the Gitxsan Development Corporation on behalf of all Gitxsan communities.
The Gitxsan skills and training project emphasizes training in areas and occupations such as leadership, security, professional cooks, camp services, carpentry foundations, occupational first aid, heavy equipment operators, plumbers, traffic control and specialized driving certifications. Up to 345 Gitxsan members will be trained over the next two years.
The project will provide both regional and community-specific training while helping to meet labour market needs. The skills training provided to Gitxsan members will assist in preparing workers for opportunities with the LNG sector, but also ensure the skills attained are transferable.
Programs will be delivered by instructors from organizations such as Northwest Community College, Scarlet West Coast Security Ltd., Care Institute of Safety and Health Inc., Cleantech Janitorial, Road Safety Traffic Control Specialties, and the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Training programs will be delivered in various Gitxsan communities in the Hazelton region.
Provincial funding of $1.5 million over two years for the Gitxsan skills and training project is provided through B.C.’s Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund which is investing up to $30 million over three years in new First Nations skills training projects and partnerships.
Offering community-driven skills training is one part of the Province’s efforts to include First Nations communities and Indigenous people in LNG sector opportunities. The Province is also working with First Nations communities on environmental stewardship priorities and financial benefits agreements.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation —
“This project will open new doors to employment for Gitxsan members through community-based skills training that addresses employer needs and worker requirements in the region.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Labour —
“Investing in initiatives for Aboriginal people is a key commitment of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing demographic in the province with half under the age of 25, and with the almost one million job openings on the horizon, programs like these will provide them with the skills training and work experience necessary to find their fit in our diverse, strong and growing economy.”
Rick Connors, President and CEO, Gitxsan Development Corporation —
“A key goal of this project is to provide Gitxsan members with the training needed to attain sustainable employment and skills that are marketable to the LNG sector and transferable to other job markets as well. It’s training for jobs, not just certificates.”
- Aboriginal people are a priority in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
- A key target of the Blueprint is to increase Aboriginal workforce participation by 15,000 new Aboriginal workers by 2024.
- In 2015-16, more than 1,200 First Nations members received training through programs supported by the Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund. Another 1,000 will be trained in 2016-17.
Gitxsan First Nation: gitxsanbusiness.com/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: workbc.ca/skills
The BC Jobs Plan: engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/