EDMONTON, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - On December 12, 2010, ten Métis youth, aged 18-30, will successfully complete an innovative pilot program that has provided them valuable training to jump-start their careers in the food services industry.
The Camp Cook program is a unique, first-of-its-kind, collaborative partnership between the Government of Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), the Rupertsland Institute's Métis Training to Employment Program, and PTI Group Inc. (PTI) to provide hands-on culinary training for Métis youth. The extensive six-week program simulates an actual camp work environment, with a 21 day on and seven day off shift, and includes safety certification, academic upgrading, as well as theoretical and hands-on camp cooking training. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will have the necessary skills and experience required for employment in the food industry, and will be eligible to be indentured as apprentice cooks. Graduates will also be offered full-time employment opportunities with PTI Group Inc., a company that provides workforce accommodations and catering services to industry customers working in remote areas.
"We are very proud of the Camp Cook program," says Sandy Sanderson, Director of Aboriginal Relations for PTI Group. "We are not only assisting Aboriginal people in Alberta to find and maintain employment, but we are proactively helping to develop qualified candidates to meet our demanding hiring needs."
While participants in the program are trained specifically for the camp environment, they graduate with the skills to get a job anywhere within the food services industry. Erica Thompson, a student enrolled in the Camp Cook program explains, "Becoming a chef is an awesome opportunity, but you never really think of it as an actual possibility. This program has opened doors that I never thought imaginable. I have really enjoyed the program and am excited to put the cooking skills I have learned to work at PTI."
Training for the Camp Cook program is provided by skilled instructors from the Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT) and is being delivered out of PTI's Mariana Lakes Open Camp kitchen facilities in Mariana Lakes, Alberta. "Having been involved in the delivery of many Aboriginal training programs, I can say that this program has truly been great," says Carmelita Crisp, NAIT Aboriginal Initiatives Account Manager. "The students' progress has been outstanding, and enthusiasm for the program and for the career potential has been remarkable.".
Funding for the program was provided jointly through Alberta Employment and Immigration (AEI) and the Rupertsland Institute's Métis Training to Employment Program. "Programs such as the Camp Cook program are meant to assist unemployed or marginally employed Métis people to gain the necessary skills, training, and work experience needed to obtain and maintain long-term employment," says Belle Dy-Reyes of the Rupertsland Institute. "Given this positive experience we are now in discussions with PTI regarding the next cohort of the program.".
The graduation ceremony will be held on Monday, December 13 at PTI Mariana Lakes Open Camp in Mariana Lakes Alberta. The ceremony will be open to all students, family and friends, as well as media. Representatives will be on site and available for comment/interviews and photo opportunities.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
NAIT is one of the preeminent institutes of technology in Canada, providing real-world education in business, advanced technologies and skilled trades. Known for student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world.
Rupertsland Institute, Métis Training to Employment Program
The Rupertsland Institute (RLI) functions as both as a training and education facility as well as a research and development institution to deal with the gaps in Métis education. RLI is incorporated as a not for profit company with a professional Board of Governors representing the business community, University of Alberta academia, government, industry and the Métis community.
Alberta Employment & Immigration
The department of Alberta Employment and Immigration is dedicated to improving Alberta's workforce and helping Albertans achieve independence through employment.
PTI Group Inc.
With over 30 years of industry experience, PTI Group is one of North America's largest fully integrated suppliers of remote site services providing temporary and permanent workforce accommodations, food services, facility management, and other value-add services to resource industries worldwide. PTI Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil States International, Inc., which is a diversified oilfield services company and is publicly-traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OIS.
For further information: For further information:
Métis Employment Services
Aboriginal Initiatives Account Manager
Alberta Employment and Immigration
Director, Aboriginal Relations
PTI Group Inc.