CALGARY, ALTA. — The Alberta government has announced new funding for indigenous construction skills training.
The province has increased its funding by $1.9 million over two years through a federal-provincial grant to support Alberta Indigenous Construction Career Centres (AICCC) at NorQuest College and Bow Valley College. The centres connect unemployed indigenous people with employers looking to fill construction-related jobs.
"Indigenous people are hard-working, entrepreneurial and important contributors to Alberta's economy," said Christina Gray, Alberta minister of labour, in a press release. "As we work to make life better for everyday Albertans, this additional investment will improve access to training opportunities and help more indigenous people find good jobs in a key industry."
The province spent $1 million to pilot the project in 2015. The $1.9 million increase is expected to help approximately 1,700 people.
Job seekers will be able to receive career coaching, resume development, safety courses, workshops and job search supports.
According to the province, indigenous understandings are built into the training to reduce barriers indigenous people face when looking for employment.
The AICCC are funded through the Aboriginal Training to Employment Program (ATEP) in partnership with NorQuest and Bow Valley colleges, the federal government and indigenous communities. ATEP funds training and work experience projects that lead to employment for indigenous Albertans.
"This centre helped me get the skills I needed to enter the oil and gas industry," said Benjamin McDougall, a former client at AICCC. "Through training in H2S Alive and other related courses, I have been able to pursue a career in areas I had not thought possible. The opportunities that I have found with the skills learned at AICCC have helped me gain financial independence in a lasting and rewarding career."