Supporting Indigenous People in Trades

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RICHMOND, B.C. – Industry Training Authority (ITA) is celebrating the achievements of all apprentices, partners, service providers, and employees on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21.

ITA has been working with Indigenous people, employers, and organizations for years to help support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis prosperity throughout the province and Canada. Indigenous cultural inclusion and reconciliation is an important priority both within ITA and in how it connects with their partners.

Increasing opportunities for Indigenous people in trades careers has been from using partnerships with local and regional organizations. ITA’s community-based training model (CBTM) helps to bring programming into rural and remote regions of the province.

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The model has helped to develop great local skills and employment opportunities, social and economic development, and a sustainable, regional workforce. Indigenous community partners and groups have shared their culture with ITA to help staff better understand the people they work with.

“To be able to bring the technical trades training to communities across B.C., and for those communities to be able to provide the opportunity for their apprentices to cover the scope of trade and work experience in all levels of their apprenticeship, is truly remarkable,” said Michael Cameron, Director of Indigenous Initiatives at ITA. “The collaborative effort of ITA with our partners demonstrates a true commitment to reconciliation and the innovation in removing barriers to Indigenous peoples’ success in trades training.”

The training in remote communities helps to play a big part in preparing members of the community for economic opportunities along with providing skilled individuals for projects on and off-reserve. with CBMT, apprentices can develop practical, real-life work experiences as well as earn workplace certificates.

Not only is sending the community members away for training expensive, but it also means time away from family. CBTM brings instructors into communities instead and for a fraction of the cost. It’s also supported by work or capital projects and to aid in an apprenticeship pathway.

As of March 2020, Indigenous peoples have made up eight percent of apprentices registered with ITA.

For more information, you can visit the ITA website.

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