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Posted: July 8, 2019

Advanced Forestry Training program coming to Cranbrook

More than 100 people will get training and work experience in the forest sector, giving them opportunities for job success and improved lives, through $3.3 million in B.C. provincial government funding.

“One key way to reduce poverty is to open doors for people to new jobs and careers,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This program, through training and work experience, will prepare people for a wide variety of forestry jobs, putting them on the path to better opportunities.”

On behalf of government, Stillwater Consulting is delivering the Advanced Forestry Training program in three communities: Cranbrook, Kamloops and Nanaimo.

Students will earn 11 different industry certifications, including silviculture surveyor certification, occupational first aid – level 3 and basic chainsaw operator. The program includes a three-week job placement with local forestry employers.

“Our program gives participants knowledge, skills and certifications in different areas of forestry in just 19 weeks,” said Aaron Byng-Hall, project manager, Stillwater Consulting. “Our graduates become environmental technicians, recreational trail builders, silviculture surveyors and wildland firefighters. For someone looking for opportunities after a mill closure, the program provides a great way to expand on what they know and turn that into a new career.”

“In light of recent record-breaking wildfire seasons, there is an increased demand for people who can work in the woods,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The Advanced Forestry Skills Training Program is recruiting students for a July 22 start date in Kamloops and an Aug. 12 start date in Cranbrook and Nanaimo.

Overall, 36 students per city can participate, with a total of 108 spaces. People interested in applying can contact WorkBC Offices in Cranbrook, Kamloops or Nanaimo.

“Taking this program definitely changed my life and propelled me into my career. I’m now a junior forestry technician with Atlas Information Management, and getting that job was 100% a result of the Stillwater training. It can be hard to get into forestry if you don’t come from the industry, but after the program I was so much more confident in going to apply for a position like that. Overall, I’m just really thankful that this program exists. It has opened up a world of opportunities for me,” stated Brianna Henderson, Stillwater training program graduate.

To be eligible to participate in the Advanced Forestry Training Program, students must meet employment insurance eligibility requirements and live in the city or surrounding areas of Cranbrook, Kamloops or Nanaimo.

Lead image courtesy Stillwater Consulting

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