May 16, 2015 - 10:34 AM
VERNON – The province is spending nearly $1.4 million dollars to train 50 Aboriginal workers to be heavy equipment operators it says are in-demand.
The program will be run in partnership with the Southern Interior Construction Association with workers from the Splatsin First Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation will take part in the train sessions, according to a media release.
The trainees will get almost nine weeks of classroom instruction in road building and heavy construction and over four weeks of on-the-job training to operate bulldozers, excavators, front-end loaders and backhoes.
The program also includes eight weeks of follow up support to help the participants find jobs.
The one-year program will include three sessions of 18 people per session and is scheduled to wrap up in March 2016.
The first intake started earlier this month in Enderby. The next intake started in August in Vernon and the third in West Kelowna in November.
"One of the reasons I chose to do this course was to do a career change. I have always had an interest in heavy equipment and I am honoured and pleased to be part of something that is positive and exciting,” project trainee Patrick Thomas from the Neskonlith Indian Band says in the release. “The group of women and men that we have in this class is a great group to learn from and work with. I cannot wait to see all of us become operators."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015