COTR and Ktunaxa partner for skills training
Aboriginal learners in British Columbia’s East Kootenays will have more opportunities to develop in-demand job skills thanks to an expansion of the Aboriginal Training for Employment Program (ATEP).
An 18-month agreement between the Ktunaxa Nation Council and the College of the Rockies will provide a program of career and job performance-related skills along with certifications and an introduction to industry for 12 participants.
“The Ktunaxa Nation is pleased that Aboriginal learners within Ktunaxa Traditional Territory will have this incredible opportunity available to them. We are once again very happy to partner with the College of the Rockies as we collectively create a better future for our region,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair.
Under the BC Jobs Plan, government is committed to providing funding for community-based delivery of programs that meet Aboriginal learners’ needs. ATEP service providers deliver job-related training in essential skills and introductory trades training, along with mentoring, coaching and support through partnerships with public, private and Aboriginal-controlled training organizations throughout B.C.
The program was introduced in 2010 with an investment of $4 million through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. By January 2012, more than 500 Aboriginal people had graduated from ATEP programs offered by 17 Aboriginal organizations. Earlier this year, 11 service providers’ contracts were renewed and another $2.9 million invested. In the summer, a third request for proposals was posted on BC Bid seeking more service providers to bring training and employment opportunities to Aboriginal individuals throughout the province.
As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment, and ultimately improve the economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada. The current agreement will expire on March 31, 2014, and B.C. is preparing to enter discussions with the federal government to renew this important agreement and ensure our province has the skilled workforce required to support long-term labour market needs and economic growth.