Saskatchewan Indigenous Apprenticeship Initiatives to receive funding boost
Additional $500,000 available for Indigenous apprenticeship courses, mentoring and career exploration
March 13, 2023 By CFI Staff
The Government of Saskatchewan announced a one-time $500,000 injection of additional funding for the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) to invest in the Indigenous Apprenticeship Initiatives (IAI) program. This program partners with First Nations councils, bands, organizations and training institutions to run projects that help attract people into the skilled trades.
“The IAI is a critical program that promotes access to apprenticeship training and provides better supports for Indigenous peoples who are interested in the trades as a career choice,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “As Saskatchewan continues to expand and grow, we need to invest significantly in the human side of our trades. Providing ease of access to apprenticeship and an opportunity for hands-on experience will prove invaluable for inspiring more Indigenous learners to pursue a career in the skilled trades.”
Each year, the SATCC allocates $400,000 in funding to the IAI program for training in designated trades that supports Indigenous people as they search for a meaningful career. For 2022-23, an additional $500,000 is being allocated to fund existing proposals that were received last spring. These project proposals range from hands-on skills training sessions involving tiny home builds, preemployment and apprenticeship training sessions, and career exploration courses delivered in or near First Nations and Métis communities.
“Engaging with potential Indigenous apprentices is one of the ways we continue building a welcoming, inclusive apprenticeship and trade certification system,” SATCC CEO Jeff Ritter said. “This additional funding will increase access to apprenticeship training and an understanding of the trades as a career choice for Indigenous peoples.”
While approximately 85 per cent of apprenticeship training takes place in the workplace, apprenticeship courses, mentoring and career exploration and guidance are equally important steps in recruiting, training and retaining apprentices.
As of June 30, 2022, there were over 6,000 apprentices registered in Saskatchewan. Seventeen per cent of those apprentices self-identified as Indigenous.
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