For Immediate Release | January 15, 2021
MOU presents opportunities for employment growth and skilled trades workforce development for the Tahltan Nation
Dease Lake, B.C. – As part of its commitment to support success in trades education and apprenticeship for First Nations, and actively working towards reconciliation, Industry Training Authority (ITA), in partnership with the Tahltan Central Government (TCG), is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase sponsorship for individuals pursuing an apprenticeship in the trades, that will also lead to community-based training opportunities in Tahltan Territory.
“Employment in the mining and construction sectors continued to climb in the last year so we know that these are the types of partnerships that strengthen opportunities for Indigenous apprentices and their communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Through these sponsorships, participants can gain good, family supporting in-demand skills in a trade that builds the local economy, and improves the lives of future generations to come.”
“This MOU is yet another example of the Tahltan Central Government providing its members differing paths to high paid employment in Tahltan Territory,” said Chad Norman Day, President of the Tahltan Central Government. “With approximately 41 percent of B.C.’s exploration activities by expenditure in Tahltan Territory, trades and apprenticeships are in high demand. With the signing of this MOU, it has now become a whole a lot easier for Tahltans, who want to become tradespeople, to achieve their goals of a brighter future.”
The signing of this MOU presents great opportunities for trades professionals in Tahltan’s resource industries, particularly in the mining industry. Community-based sponsorship and training will allow apprentices to continue to hone their skills, gain employment opportunities, and register their hours toward a credential, all while staying local to their communities.
Historically, these partnerships have resulted in positive growth for Indigenous communities. For example, community-based training in the Nuxalk Nation, completed in partnership with the ITA and Camosun College, allowed 11 people to complete level 4 and 5 challenge for Red Seal Endorsement successfully in carpentry while working on local construction projects and contributing to the overall socioeconomic well-being of their community.
“Fostering collaboration between the Indigenous communities, employers, businesses, and local industries will strongly support increased apprenticeships and trades success for Tahltan people throughout B.C.,” said Michael Cameron, Director of Indigenous Initiatives at ITA.* “We look forward to seeing how this partnership will support TCG’s career building program, OnTrack, and increase career opportunities within their thriving mining industry. The apprenticeship program and sponsorship provide trades professionals with a clear pathway toward certification.”
Recently launched by the TCG, OnTrack is an initiative that connects Tahltan community members with fulfilling careers. The online tool assesses an individual’s skills and matches them with employers who are looking for particular qualifications. Learn more at ontrack.tahltan.org.
* Michael Cameron was ITA’s Director of Indigenous Initiatives from January 2018 to January 2021.