Squamish, B.C. –Forty-eight Aboriginal learners in the Lower Mainland are preparing to enter trades training programs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) through a community-based education and training partnership between KPU and the Squamish Nation.
The program will provide participants with introductory certificates in environmental assessment, craft worker and construction trades that will enable them to obtain employment in LNG, construction trades craft worker and environmental monitoring. 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 B.C.’s growing economy. KPU and the Squamish Nation are receiving $414,287.
The other communities and organizations that will benefit from the partnership program with public post-secondary institutions are Lhtako Dene Nation, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations, Osoyoos Indian Band, and Ooknakane Friendship Centre and En’owkin Centre.
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.
West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk -
“The training partnership between Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Squamish Nation is an excellent example of how we are taking action to ensure Aboriginal learners are able to access training that puts them on the path to a great future. Our investment in training opportunities for Aboriginal learners is an investment in B.C.’s success.”
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Minister Bernard Valcourt-
“Our government continues to take concrete steps to enable First Nations to participate fully in the economic prosperity of our country. By supporting First Nation people in accessing educational institutes, we are helping ensure Aboriginal learners develop the skills they need to find a job in their chosen field.”
Employment and Social Development Canada Minister Jason Kenney-
“Canada’s long-term prosperity depends on the labour market participation of all Canadians, including underrepresented groups such as Aboriginal people. 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, government introduced B.C.’s 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 B.C.’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, including:
· Improving partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal institutes and communities.
· Increasing the number of Aboriginal learners in rural and remote communities accessing post-secondary education and training programs.
For more on KPU Tech and trades and technology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, visit: kpu.ca/tech.
B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
Aboriginal Post-secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan:www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/docs/Aboriginal_Action_Plan.pdf
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.
Stacey McGaghey Jones
Ministry of Advanced Education
KPU media contact:
Media Specialist, KPU