“Offering the Pathways to Success (P2S) program in Gitanyow is a boost for candidates to move forward and succeed,” says Alishia Benson, Program Coach, Northwestern B.C., BC AMTA.
With the P2S program just starting, candidates have responded positively to training. "The attendance has been high and information about BC AMTA is continuing to spread by ‘word of mouth,’" says Alishia.
“One of the candidates told us that they ‘wished BC AMTA existed 20 years ago.’”
Gitanyow, located in northern British Columbia, is over 100 km from nearby service centres like Smithers and Terrace, B.C. Challenges to providing training in Gitanyow may include travel distances, weather conditions (which impact travel), Internet access, availability of local instructors, and the logistics of setting up community-based programs from a distance.
Alishia, who is originally from the area, says that BC AMTA’s approach helps to overcome the barriers associated with delivering training in remote communities.
"Delivering these programs in remote northern B.C. communities ‘presents a range of challenges,’" says Danielle Smyth, Project Administrator, School of Exploration & Mining, NWCC and BC AMTA partner. “The program utilizes an innovative model, including digital, classroom and field instruction to prepare candidates for employment in the exploration and mining industries.” Candidates enrolled in this program earn seven industry-recognized safety certificates, including Occupational First Aid, Spill Response, WHMIS, and others.
Developing collaborative partnerships with local communities, educational institutions and industry is also key to overcoming challenges.
“We have so much appreciation for the role of Gitanyow’s community education coordinators. They are key to building continuity, confidence and encouraging participation from local candidates,” says Tony Harris, Regional Manager, Northwestern BC, BC AMTA.
After the P2S program, candidates have the option to pursue employment or further training opportunities.
“We have other programs beginning in the Gitanyow community,” says Tony, “The P2S training is a great foundation for supporting candidates’ success in future training.”
Four candidates from Gitanyow will be selected for an upcoming camp cook program. Plans are also underway to offer a mineral processing operator program.
“Both of these programs will be delivered in partnership with BC AMTA, NWCC, the Gitanyow community and local industry partners,” says Danielle Smyth of NWCC.
The future looks full of opportunities for Gitanyow candidates.
About BC AMTA
BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association is a federally registered charity devoted to preparing Aboriginal candidates for sustainable careers with mining and mining support companies. For more information, and to view the Top 10 Effects of BC AMTA’s programs, visit bcamta.ca.
Northwest Community College is an accredited post-secondary institution offering comprehensive education and training to the 34 urban, rural and remote communities of northwestern BC. Through an innovative distributed learning model that includes nine campuses/learning centres, current technology, mobile units, and successful partnerships, NWCC brings relevant education and training directly to where it is needed. NWCC is a recognized leader in Aboriginal education where Aboriginal people make up roughly 40 per cent of the student body. NWCC celebrates the diversity of its northern and Aboriginal populations and reflects this in its programs, services and workforce. To learn more, visit nwcc.bc.ca.
For more information about BC AMTA’s programming in the Northwest Region, contact:
Program Coach, Northwestern B.C., BC AMTA
For more information about NWCC contact:
Acting manager, Communications & Public Relations
Northwest Community College
1.877.277.2288 (Toll Free) or 250.638.5494