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NEWS RELEASE · 19th April 2010
Industry Training Authority
New funding of up to $1 million will build skills and success for First Nations, with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) offering trades training for heavy equipment operator, building maintenance and a unique Aboriginal women in trades program, Minister Moira Stilwell announced today.

"Tapping into the potential of B.C.'s First Nations is vital to meet our province's future needs for skilled workers," said Stilwell. "This is a great example of how government and First Nations can collaborate to create new opportunities in skilled, well paying jobs."

The ITA programs build on successful existing trades training programs, with an enhanced focus on the Aboriginal learner. Since 2008, over $2 million has been invested through the Canada B.C. Labour Market Agreement for skills training programs, designed and developed with the support and assistance of the Aboriginal Advisory Council.

"Our Government is taking action to ensure Canadians have the skills they need for the jobs of the future," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Through the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Agreement, we are working in partnership with the B.C. government and First Nations to provide the workforce with training and skills development opportunities."

Government is committed to working with First Nations, industry, education and training service providers and the Industry Training Authority to create and enhance employment opportunities for Aboriginals in the skilled trades, and encourage stronger participation in the provincial labour market.

"The Tseycum First Nation / Camosun College Residential Building Maintenance Worker Program has improved the skills of community maintenance workers, and improved community safety," said Frank Michon, co-ordinator and mentor. "This program has helped some complete their apprenticeship and led to a number of new apprentices."

"The Industry Training Authority is delivering on the objectives outlined in our 2008 Aboriginal Trades & Apprenticeship report," said Kevin Evans, ITA's CEO. "With 121 trainees in 2008-09, growing to an anticipated over 180 trainees in 2009-10, the Industry Training Authority and our partners in industry and the First Nations community are building new opportunities in the skilled trades for Aboriginal people."

For more information about the Industry Training Authority's Aboriginal trades training initiatives, please visit www.itabc.ca/.

For more information about B.C.'s labour market initiatives, please visit www.gov.bc.ca/aved/.