Industry Training Authority to Develop Aboriginal Training Strategy

    Announces New Appointment to ITA Management Team

    RICHMOND, BC, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - BC's Industry Training Authority is
reinforcing its commitment to increase Aboriginal participation in trades
training with the appointment of Gary McDermott to the newly-created position
of Director of Aboriginal Apprenticeship.
    McDermott, who joined the ITA on August 13th, will be responsible for
leading the development of a strategy aimed at doubling Aboriginal
participation in apprenticeship training by 2010. This target is part of the
ITA's overall goal to increase the number of apprentices in the province to
address anticipated labour shortages and meet employers' growing demands for a
skilled workforce.
    "Increasing Aboriginal participation and success in B.C.'s labour force
is one of the key priorities of the WorkBC action plan to address skills
shortages," said Colin Hansen, Minister of Economic Development. "With the
growing demand for skilled labour, this is an ideal time to work more closely
with First Nations' communities to increase the number of Aboriginal people
pursuing technical skills and training for trades occupations."
    McDermott comes to the ITA with a wealth of experience and strong
relationships in B.C.'s First Nations communities. Most recently, he was
director, policy and legislation for the Aboriginal Services Branch of the
Ministry of Children and Family Development. In this capacity he was
responsible for overseeing the provision of child and family services to
Aboriginal peoples throughout B.C. He also spent over 10 years in communities
including Fort Nelson and Lytton, where he worked closely with Aboriginal
community members.
    "Engaging B.C.'s First Nations communities in apprenticeship training is
key to the future of our province, and with our current economy the
opportunity to make that happen has never been more real," said Brian Clewes,
the ITA's chief executive officer. "We are excited to have someone with Gary's
experience and passion committed to this important priority."
    McDermott will work collaboratively with the many existing organizations
committed to providing training opportunities for B.C.'s Aboriginal people.

    The Industry Training Authority is a Crown agency responsible for
managing and expanding B.C.'s apprenticeship training system. The ITA works
with apprentices, employers and other stakeholders to ensure British
Columbians have access to quality training and skilled workers.

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Dooling, Director, Communications &
Marketing, Industry Training Authority, Email:, Tel: (604)

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