FORT ST. JOHN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2012) - The Industry Training Authority (ITA) today released its report on the progress of B.C.'s efforts to attract Aboriginal people to the trades in the province.
The Aboriginal Participation in Trades and Apprenticeship in B.C.: Three Year Review and Future Direction reveals that over the past five years, the number of Aboriginal people taking trades training at public post-secondary institutions in BC has doubled to over 1,200 people in each of the past two years.
"We (ITA) attribute this success to the partnerships with the B.C. and Canada governments, programs like the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement, and the innovative ideas and strong partnerships First Nations and Aboriginal agencies in B.C. have established with industry, employers and educators," said Gary McDermott, ITA Director, Aboriginal Initiatives.
The report was released at the North East Native Advancing Society (NENAS) Innovation and Learning Centre grand opening today. It provides a three-year update on the key actions taken since the 2009 report The Apprenticeship Journey: Aboriginal Trades and Apprenticeship Business Plan.
"We're preparing Aboriginal people in the north to be tradespeople whether it is with a major project in our area, or in their First Nation community," said Audrey Sam, NENAS Executive Director and an ITA Aboriginal Advisory Council (AAC) member. "Opening of this centre is a component of NENAS' long-term strategy to work with Aboriginal people in career planning, employment skill development, academic upgrading and college preparation." NENAS works with employers to fill area skilled labour shortages with skilled job-ready local Aboriginal employees.
The report contains information on the accomplishments of the Aboriginal Initiatives, and what ITA does next to continue this growth. The Aboriginal Initiatives and its programs and strategies were developed with the support of ITA Executive, Board of Directors, and the AAC which consists of Aboriginal agencies, tradespeople, industry, government and educators.
ITA will continue to implement and refine its Aboriginal Initiatives to further reduce barriers to successful entry into the trades by Aboriginal people.
This report has been prepared by the Industry Training Authority and reports on programs and research funded, in part, through the Canada- British Columbia Labour Market Agreement and the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Partnerships Agreement.
The Industry Training Authority is the provincial crown agency responsible for overseeing B.C.'s industry training and apprenticeship system, providing a skilled workforce for industry and career development opportunities for British Columbians.