Trades program benefits Lax Kw’alaams

The Lax Kw’alaams community celebrated 30 graduates from the Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading (AOTU) program in late June.

Lax Kw’alaams students absorb valuable knowledge from the UA Piping Industry College of BC’s teachers in June.

The Lax Kw’alaams community celebrated 30 graduates from the Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading (AOTU) program in late June.

Graduates received technical training, workforce skills training and essential skills upgrades, such as math and technology. Now, 30 people from the remote village can continue their training and work toward full certification or their Red Seal.

Some graduates are already registered to continue their training in construction or they’ve enrolled in the piping foundation course, stated the press release.

The provincial ministry of Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, and Canada-BC Jobs Fund Agreement offered financial support to run the training course.

“B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is reaching out to Aboriginal peoples in their communities to ensure they have the education, training and support they need to get good jobs. Aboriginal youth in particular, are the fastest growing demographic in the province and will play a vital role in a strong B.C. economy,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

The program was brought to Lax Kw’alaams by the UA Piping Industry College of BC for the first time with support from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and its Aboriginal People in Trades Training initiative.

“This program is a first step for many Lax Kw’alaams students in realizing apprenticeship opportunities in trades that align with the needs and priorities of local employers and opportunities in Northwest B.C.,” said Al Phillips, Executive Director, UA Piping Industry College of BC.

The UA Piping Industry College has campuses in Delta, Terrace and Fort St. John. The training college offers post-secondary students upgrading, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training options for welding, plumbing, sprinklerfitting and steamfitting.