Eighteen Aboriginal learners from the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations will develop in-demand culinary skills and industry certification through a community-based education and training partnership between TRU and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations.
The camp cook program at Williams Lake is focused on culinary arts, food preparation, safety and industry certification. It is one of five new partnerships worth a total of $1 million that are enabling Aboriginal people to get skills and education in their communities to prepare for jobs in BC’s growing economy. TRU and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations are receiving $218,200.
“Our investment in training opportunities for Aboriginal learners is an investment in BC’s success,” says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “The partnership between Thompson Rivers University and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations is a good example of how training partnerships can ensure Aboriginal learners are able to access training that puts them on the path to a great future.”
Other communities and organizations that will benefit from the partnership program with public post-secondary institutions are Squamish Nation, Osoyoos Indian Band, Lhtako Dene Nation, and Ooknakane Friendship Centre and En’owkin Centre.
“Our Government is committed to enabling Aboriginal learners to access the skills training and education they need to find meaningful employment,” says Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Minister Bernard Valcourt. “Helping to create a better future for individuals will lead to greater participation of Aboriginal peoples in the economy, healthier Aboriginal communities and a stronger Canada.”
This $1-million investment is in addition to the $6.4 million in joint federal and provincial government funding previously announced for 23 projects to create partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and local Aboriginal communities. These projects are expected to deliver education and training that ranges from academic upgrading to skilled qualifications to more than 440 Aboriginal people.
Today’s announcement builds on that investment, and will provide training for a further 105 participants in five communities.
“Canada’s long-term prosperity depends on the labour market participation of all Canadians, including under-represented groups such as Aboriginal people,” says Employment and Social Development Canada Minister Jason Kenney. “Our government is taking action to help Aboriginal people get the right skills and experience needed for available jobs, through initiatives such as the First Nations Job Fund, the Skills and Partnership Fund and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.”
In April 2014, the BC government introduced the Skills for Jobs Blueprint and committed to continuing to provide funding for in-community delivery of skills and training programs that meet Aboriginal learners’ needs and help prepare them to enter BC’s labour market.
The funding is being provided through the Aboriginal Community-based Delivery Partnerships Program. This year, total funding for the program is up to $7.4 million, which includes $3 million from the Ministry of Advanced Education, and up to $4.4 million from the Government of Canada. Funding includes participant costs for programs to be delivered in First Nations communities.The Aboriginal Community-Based Delivery Partnerships Program also delivers on commitments of the Aboriginal Post-secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan: 2020 Vision for the Future.
Stacey McGaghey Jones
Ministry of Advanced Education