Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett

Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Donna Barnett

TRU North receives $1 million plus for skills training

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake has received a hefty financial boost in the arm from government.

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake has received a hefty financial boost in the arm from government.

Last Wednesday Minister of Tourism, Jobs and Skills Training Pat Bell and Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett were in Williams Lake to announce more than $1  million of new funding for TRU North.

Funded through the Canadian British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, the Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training project will provide First Nations communities and local employers with group literacy and essential skills level assessment.

The assessments will help determine training needs.

Beginning April 4 students will be accepted into the program, Barnett said.

She commended TRU for taking the leadership in developing training programs for the region.

Bell said he believes the future of B.C. as a whole is dependent on how the province works collectively and collaboratively with First Nations in training for specific industrial sectors. It is known there is going to be an enormous crunch over the next number of years in those sectors.

First Nations continue to face high levels of unemployment in their communities, while at the same time non-Aboriginal communities have prospered, he said, adding that’s “not acceptable” in the 21st century and wasn’t acceptable previously.

The funding is a step toward making efforts to provide additional training and efforts, he said.

“If you look at the economy across B.C., we expect in the next seven years there will be about one million job openings.”

At the same period of time there will be an estimated 650,000 high school graduates, creating an “enormous gap,” Bell said.

Of the million job openings, approximately 430,000 are going to be trades or technical.

“The jobs will often be located in rural areas and extend opportunities into small First Nations communities,” Bell said, adding it is government’s responsibility to provide training for everyone to participate in the economy.

Canoe Creek/Dog Creek Chief Dave Archie said it’s great to have more options for training and education for all First Nations and all people in the Cariboo.

“I’m looking forward to building this partnership and many more. As Northern Shuswap we want the same opportunities to work and provide for our families, not only in working, but in our traditional ways, ensuring those ways are here for our future generations.”

First Nations want to be on the same playing field that other Canadians new and old enjoy, Archie said.

“We look forward to creating partnerships with all levels of government,” he said, adding education is an important foundation for everyone.

Campus director Dr. Ray Sanders thanked the government for its trust in TRU to deliver programs.

“We have great needs and the education levels, even for entry level jobs, has risen to a point that it’s not longer acceptable to take someone who might or might not been a drop out or someone who has low literacy skills,” Sanders said.

In today’s world people have to be able to use documents, be literate not only with the written word, but with numeracy.

“This contract will allow us to enable more people to have better lives. That’s what it’s all about.

TRU is wonderful with great potential, but the university should never lose sight of its purpose to helping individuals have better lives, he added.

The university’s grant writer Shirley-Pat Chamberlain said without industry participation none of the training could go ahead.

“We can do all of the essential skills training we want, but if there is no relation or connection to the real world, what’s the point,” Chamberlin said.

Aboriginal education executive director Nathan Matthews said he and others involved in First Nations education wait for announcements like this one.

“We look forward to build a stronger base for First Nations to gain the strength needed in First Nations communities,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Have a letter? Email
LETTER: B.C. mine permitting process needs to change to avoid layoffs

I can’t believe a permit to reopen Gib East Pit has been delayed again.

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Williams Lake Fire Chief Erick Peterson said his department along with other fire departments in the region will be doing some wildfire urban interface training on Sunday, May 9 in the Williams Lake area. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Wildfire urban interface training slated for Williams Lake area Sunday, May 9

Williams Lake, Quesnel, Miocene and 150 Mile House fire departments participating

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read