L-R: Colin Belliveau, Director of Training and Apprenticeship, Alberta Carpenters Training Centre, Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Jon Carson, MLA Edmonton-Meadowlark. – Government of Alberta Photo

by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta government is providing $500,000 in funding for a pre-apprenticeship program to help Indigenous people pursue careers in the construction trades.

The Trade Winds to Success Training Society’s 16-week pre-apprenticeship program offers classroom and hands-on instruction to students pursuing careers as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, millwrights, plumbers, steam/pipefitters, welders or insulators.

The training program also incorporates Indigenous cultural practices, including Elder mentorship and a daily smudge ceremony.

“Alberta is working to make life better for Indigenous peoples by ensuring they have every opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labour force and economy. Indigenous people are vital to maintaining a strong and stable workforce and this program will help address some of the barriers faced by Indigenous people in fully participating in Alberta’s economy,” said Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, in a release Tuesday.

Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, said Indigenous people represent the fastest-growing section of our country’s workforce.

“Investing to get people the skills and training they’ll need to find and keep good jobs is part of our plan to build a strong middle class,” Hajdu said.

Alberta Advanced Education contributed $300,000 and Indigenous Relations contributed $200,000.

The Trade Winds to Success Training Society has graduated 1,264 students since 2006, with a success rate of 86 per cent.

The society has offices in Edmonton, Calgary, and Bonnyville.

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