KAMLOOPS, BC, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - In three fast years, BC Aboriginal Mine Training (BC AMTA) has partnered with government, First Nations and the BC Mining industry to support, train and recruit Aboriginal people. On March 20, 2013 they reached a milestone of placing 500 men and women from First Nations communities across the province into sustainable mining-related careers.
With 25 percent of the mining workforce scheduled to retire within the next five years and 1200 Aboriginal communities within 200 kilometres of an operating mine or exploration project1, BC AMTA has set in motion an achievable process that proves a new way of doing business with First Nations is possible.
Those possibilities include training and placing more Aboriginal people into mining careers as new offices open up across the province to meet industry demand. New BC AMTA regional offices include New Aiyansh (Terrace) and Merritt, to complement existing operations in Kamloops, Cranbrook and Williams Lake.
Communities are generating economic health through increased education and employment. "I wanted to become employable and to get a job so my husband and I could stop struggling, and dream of financial freedom," says Iona Chelsea2, a recent graduate of the Mining Skills for an Entry Level Workforce. The ripple effect of Iona's commitment to education has inspired her daughter as well - they now enjoy time studying together.
BC AMTA industry partners include Acres Construction, Avanti Mining Corp., Chieftain Metals, New Gold Inc., Seabridge Gold, Taseko's Gibraltar Mine, Teck Resources, Association for Mineral Exploration BC, Mining Association of BC and over 150 First Nations across BC.
"Understanding the needs, motivations and challenges of our partners and candidates has brought us to this milestone" said Laurie Sterritt, BC AMTA's CEO. "While every workplace and every community is unique, our dedicated staff have been able to adapt their approach to ensure we maintain high quality training that is both respectful and flexible. Our candidates become confident and well-prepared for the mining and exploration industries."
BC AMTA programming is supported by charitable donations, corporate sponsorships and government contributions from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and British Columbia's Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Ministry of Advanced Education. Northern Development Initiative Trust is also an annual contributor.
1 MiHR: http://www.mihr.ca/en/Aboriginal.asp
Education delivery partners include Thompson Rivers University, Northwest Community College, British Columbia Institute of Technology and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology with all trades training meeting Industry Training Authority (ITA) standards.
The BC AMTA program is not just a feel-good program between industry, educators, First Nations and Government. In helping Aboriginal communities to participate in exploration and mining, BC AMTA is offering another way for communities to shape their own social and economic development.
About BC AMTA:
BC AMTA's mission is to become the best team in Canada empowering First Nations to create economic health for themselves and their communities through skills training, education and career opportunities.
In partnership with industry, governments and educators, BC AMTA provides training and support services to Aboriginal participants through a formal process of personal and professional development - a process that leads to sustainable careers within the full cycle of mining including exploration, mine development, operations and reclamation.
SOURCE: BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association
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