PRINCE GEORGE – A $1.1 million investment in the College of New Caledonia and a $200,000 investment in the University will provide training for Aboriginal people to get the skills and education needed for jobs in B.C.’s growing economy, MLAs Shirley Bond, Mike Morris and John Rustad announced today.

“Providing programs and support for Aboriginal students is key to their success,” Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “This funding will ensure that Aboriginal students have the education and training that they need to participate in the workforce and benefit from economic opportunities in our region and province.”

“Our government’s priority is to ensure that Aboriginal young people have the opportunity to benefit from the million jobs we expect to open in British Columbia by 2022,” Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said. “Our investments are helping Aboriginal young people obtain the skills and training they need to build careers across a variety of diverse sectors.”

“It’s important to deliver programs in Aboriginal communities that meet community needs and position students to take advantage of economic opportunities,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “These partnerships will help equip Aboriginal learners with the skills they need to prepare for the workforce.”

In April 2014, the B.C. government introduced B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and committed to continuing to provide funding for community-based skills and training programs that meet Aboriginal learners’ needs and help prepare them to enter B.C.’s labour market.

Learn more about Aboriginal post-secondary education and training at aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal.

Learn more about B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint at workbc.ca/skills.

Backgrounder:

CNC is receiving funding toward three partnerships with First Nations communities under the Aboriginal Community-Based Delivery Partnerships Program:

  • CNC and Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s partnership will provide programming for Industry Training Authority’s heavy equipment operator certification.
  • CNC and Yekooche First Nation’s partnership and CNC and Talkla Lake’s partnership will provide funding for essential skills and safety certifications, leading to an BC Adult Dogwood .
  • The Aboriginal Community-Based Delivery Partnerships Program supports education partnerships between public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal communities. Total funding for this program this year is $4.4 million, which includes $2 million from the Ministry of Advanced Education, and $2.4 million from the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is also contributing funding to support participant costs for programs delivered in First Nations communities.

CNC is also receiving funding for its Aboriginal Service Plan which will enhance services and programming for Aboriginal students at the Prince George, Mackenzie, Lake District, Nechako and Quensel campuses. The service plan will help provide Aboriginal advisor/liaisons, tutoring support, and community language circles and cultural events upgrading services.

The Aboriginal Service Plan being funded at UNBC’s Prince George campus includes transition programming, elder support, a writing festival as well as support a First Nations Centre counsellor position. Funding will also support an Aboriginal coordinator position at the UNBC Terrace campus.