COTR and KN partner to offer In-Community Training Program
College of the Rockies (COTR) and the Ktunaxa Nation (KN) have joined together to offer a Bridging to Education and Employment program within Ktunaxa communities starting this summer.
To be eligible for the program, participants must be of Aboriginal heritage, 18-years of age or older, unemployed and not receiving EI benefits, or employed part-time and not currently attending school.
The program includes four pathways to employment: health careers, trades, tourism hospitality and internal economy. Participants will have the opportunity to gain their BC adult Dogwood certificate, College of the Rockies post-secondary course credits, industry certificates, non-credit college courses and traditional knowledge.
“Ensuring Aboriginal learners are able to get the education they need to join B.C.’s labour force is an important part of B.C.’s Jobs Plan,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education. “The Bridging to Education and Employment program will provide a vital link to support education and training pathways for people of the Ktunaxa Nation communities.”
The aim of the program is to tap into the potential for growth, development and accomplishment within the Ktunaxa Nation, to enhance career prospects and to increase employability opportunities. The additional focus on traditional knowledge allows for this training to be a fully-rounded educational experience.
College of the Rockies President and CEO Nick Rubidge is pleased to have the college involved in this new program. “We have worked closely with the Ktunaxa Nation for many years to develop educational opportunities and curriculum which supports cultural learning and facilitates post-secondary credentialing,” he notes. “This is a terrific opportunity for us to continue this valuable relationship.”
Through her visits to area First Nations communities, program coordinator Jo Ann Smith has been impressed by the interest in the program. “At each community I visit, the program has been greeted with positive enthusiasm,” she says. “Potential participants are being identified and the Bands are very excited to have their members take part in this opportunity.”
Funding for the program has been provided through the Canada/British Columbia Labour Market Agreement. Under the BC Jobs Plan, the Government of British Columbia has committed to providing funding for community-based delivery of programs that meet Aboriginal learners’ needs.