VANCOUVER, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - After two and a half years of supplying
job-ready candidates to British Columbia's mining sector amid growing
labour shortages, the British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training
Association (BC AMTA) is being forced to close after failing to secure
ongoing funding for its operations.
BC AMTA will close its doors on June 15, despite being recognized by
both government and industry for successfully connecting Aboriginal
people to careers in BC's exploration and mining sector. "When BC AMTA
began, our goal was to place 148 people in jobs. Through hard work and
a passionate commitment to our mandate, we doubled that and today, more
than 310 Aboriginal men and women have found sustainable employment
through their participation in BC AMTA skills training programs," said
Laurie Sterritt, BC AMTA's executive director.
BC AMTA was created by industry, government, educators and First Nations
to help the mining sector meet its workforce needs as a labour shortage
looms across Canada. The organization provides skills upgrading and
training to Aboriginal people looking for employment in the mining
sector, particularly at operations close to their communities.
"Our model has combined skills training with individualized support and
coaching for every candidate, reflecting the different learning needs
and realities of our Aboriginal population," Sterritt said. "Industry
has demonstrated its support for the BC AMTA model through commitments
for 650 jobs and more than $12 million in in-kind contributions. And,
while this satisfies stated federal funding requirements, we have yet
to receive confirmation of government support. Unfortunately, we can't
have one source of funding without the other."
BC AMTA will work with existing candidates to identify support services
so they can continue on their path to employment. BC AMTA will also
deliver on its commitments to industry partners who have made prior
financial contributions to BC AMTA programming.
Senior management will continue to search for funding until the end of
July. "My hope is we will secure new funding over the coming few weeks
so we can continue to develop a legacy of increased Aboriginal
training, employment and participation in our provincial and federal
economies. If not, BC AMTA will have to shut its doors permanently."
SOURCE BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association
For further information:
O: 604 681 4321 ext. 112
C: 778 838 4569