Canada improves training for Aboriginals

Renewed funding for program for Native Americans is announced at L-146 hall

TRADE WINDS TO SUCCESS — a training program funded by Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP), announced the renewal of its funding May 23 at the Boilermakers’ Local 146 hall in Edmonton, Alberta. The project will provide Aboriginals with career decision-making, pre-apprenticeship intervention, and personal and academic support to prepare them for careers in the construction trades.

ASEP's objective is sustainable employment for Aboriginal people in major economic industries, leading to lasting benefits for their communities and families.

“This is the second generation of this program,” reports L-146 BM-ST Warren Fraleigh. “The first program was initiated in 2004 and ran until 2008. The program has now been renewed for another four or five years. During the first program, we trained 70 candidates in both Edmonton and Calgary, with better than 90 percent of the candidates being successful. We would hope that numbers for the new program would be similar.”

The government of Canada is contributing up to $4.5 million for the project. In addition, Aboriginal organizations, the Union Training Trust Fund, and the government of Alberta are all partners in this initiative. Total funding could reach up to $10 million over five years.

According to Fraleigh, Local 146 is reimbursed for program expenses based on a per person formula. “There is no cost to the local to conduct the training, and we end up with some very solid candidates for our apprenticeship program. The candidates receive eight weeks of pre–apprenticeship training in all aspects of the trade with a focus on safety that allows them to hit the ground running.”