The Williams Lake TRU campus is part of a new two-year training program for Indigenous people.
The campus is receiving almost $478,000 to provide a heavy mechanics foundation program, including wraparound supports and industry certifications to 28 participants.
The Ministry of Education, Skills, and Training announced the funding Thursday and said more than 475 people in Indigenous communities throughout B.C. are gaining skills to succeed in high-opportunity trades careers with six new two-year training programs.
“It’s excellent. It’s something that the community needs,” says Baldev Pooni, Dean for the School of Trades and Technology. “We do some trades training here at the Williams Lake campus and the funds that we have go to graduate many students of the local community but this is welcome news for our youth and perhaps as well our displaced forestry workers. It is indigenous community focused and welcome news, and I’m very pleased to be able to offer the education right here in Williams Lake.”
Supported by the Industry Training Authority (ITA), the programs will address community priorities and opportunities with courses ranging from exploratory and introductory trades to construction and electrical training.
“We are intending to start our program in September,” Pooni says. ‘”We recognize in the trades program that these programs have become more demanding in terms of technical and other skills that we need to upgrade these individuals. So we’ve allowed ourselves to be able to start our classes in September, do the upgrading they require to be successful in our heavy-duty mechanical program, and then we will start the program in February.”
Pooni says the program will run for approximately 8 months after that and that upon graduation graduates will be prepared to go out into the workplace.
“I should point out that this is more than just a regular program because students will acquire some additional safety tickets and other equipment operation tickets as a part of the program as well,” he adds.