A new eight-week pre-apprenticeship training program by FortisBC is helping improve access to important trades training so that First Nations individuals can take advantage of skilled employment opportunities, including in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
The pilot program was developed by Aboriginal Skills 3G: BC with the help of a $75,000 grant from FortisBC.
Aboriginal Skills is a non-profit society with more than 10 years of experience in the design, development and delivery of Aboriginal skills training programs.
“There’s a lot of interest from within B.C. First Nations communities in accessing skilled trades training,” said Linden Pinay, executive director of the Aboriginal Skills Group. “After completing this program, students will be prepared to complete further skills training and apprenticeships, or move directly into entry level jobs.”
The program is open to individuals from all Aboriginal communities in B.C. who are looking to supplement their skills so they can work in the LNG industry.
Students enrolled in the Pre-Apprenticeship Training program must demonstrate an interest in construction trades training. The program includes a classroom component where students will complete Essential Skills 3G – a foundations program designed by Aboriginal Skills 3G: BC – workplace safety and first-aid training, trade fundamentals and entry level carpentry work. Outside the classroom, students receive hands-on training by FortisBC at the company’s Surrey Operations Centre.
FortisBC is currently completing an expansion of its Tilbury LNG facility to meet the evolving needs of its domestic customers. Approximately three per cent of the workers registered and available for work on the expansion project are self-disclosed Aboriginal and under-represented workers.
The company is committed to ensuring the expansion provides direct local benefits to the people of Delta, local communities and First Nations.
“We believe it’s important for people to be able to work where they live,” said Doug Stout, vice president of market development & external relations at FortisBC. “This program will help increase the number of local skilled individuals available to work on job sites and potentially take advantage of future opportunities in B.C.’s LNG industry.”
FortisBC broke ground on the expansion in October 2014. The project includes construction of a new LNG storage tank and additional liquefaction equipment. The company expects the expanded facility to be operational by late 2016.
For more details on enrollment in the Aboriginal Skills 3G program, visit www.aboriginalskills.ca.