Funding for training programs announced
Minister Rustad makes announcement-photo 250News
Prince George, B.C.- The Prince George Native Friendship Centre is one of seven in Northern BC that will share in funding to provide training for urban aboriginals.
The funding, $2 million over three years, is aimed at adding another 1,000 people to the labour pool.
The funding will be linked to the Five by Five employment centres at the Native Friendship centres, which have a goal of adding five thousand people to the skilled labour pool over a five year period.
While the promise of LNG development remains, the idea is to have culturally appropriate training in a variety of fields depending on the needs of the client. “We’re not just saying we want to train a 100 pipefitters, or a 100 millwrights” says John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation “What we’re saying is we want the Friendship Centres to work with the population, work with the First Nations to find out what they need, and how can we shape this program to be as successful as possible.”
Regardless of the future of LNG, B.C.’s skilled labour pool is aging, and huge gaps will be created as those skilled people retire and leave the workforce.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Shirley Bond says First Nations “Are absolutely critical to our ( BC’s) success” and points out that nearly half of the First Nations population in B.C. is under the age of 25.
Other Friendship Centres which will share in the funding and be part of the Five by Five ‘hub” are:
- Prince Rupert,
- Ft. St. John ,
- Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson.