The province is providing $4 million to a local company based in Cranbrook that will train and help prepare 120 people in five different regions across the province for employment in the natural resource sector.
Stillwater Consulting Ltd. is receiving the funding through the Community and Employer Partnerships project, which focuses on training for youth, youth at risk, immigrants, Indigenous peoples and people who face barriers to employment, according to a provincial news release.
“We’re investing in natural-resource-sector training programs to help people access rewarding employment opportunities that can lead them toward a bright future,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Participants who complete this training program will be able to build long-term careers from wildland firefighting to environmental monitoring.”
Specifically, the funding for Stillwater Consulting will go towards delivering two intakes into its Wildfire and Integrated Natural Resources program in Nanaimo, Langley, Cranbrook, Kamloops and Prince George.
“We’re committed to a strong, sustainable forestry sector that provides good, family-supporting jobs for now and generations to come,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Investing in these programs is building inclusive employment opportunities in the natural-resource sector. This will provide the necessary skills and training for jobs to strengthen our forests, protect communities and increase climate preparedness.”
The first intake has already begun for Cranbrook, Nanaimo and Prince George, which started on Oct. 24, while intakes for Kamloops and Langley will begin on Nov. 7.
Second intakes for all five communities will open up in March 2023.
Each participant will receive 17 weeks of occupational skills training, three weeks of on-the-job experience, and four weeks of follow up support with job searching.
“With this program, more people will get the necessary skills and experience they need to fill the number of job openings in B.C.’s growing natural-resource sector,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “This program aligns with our Future Ready Plan, which is making it easier and more affordable for British Columbians to gain the skills, knowledge and workforce connections they require to be successful in a changing economy.”
Anyone interested in participating in the next intake can find more information at their WorkBC centre.