Britco, Seabird Island Band sign jobs agreement

The Seabird Island Band has signed a jobs agreement with Britco, linking the growing Agassiz employer with students at Seabird College.

The Seabird Island Band has signed a jobs agreement with Britco, linking the growing Agassiz employer with students at Seabird College and clients at the Seabird Island employment centre.

Eligible students can now get the work experience they need close to home to graduate from construction-related trades programs, and Britco gets a skilled labour pool right at its doorstep.

“It’s a great opportunity for First Nations students, and a natural for the company,” said Chris Gardner, Britco executive vice president.

“We’ve made investing in education and training initiatives a key priority for us,” he said, to develop job skills needed by both native and non-native students as a shortage of skilled labour looms in B.C.

The B.C.  government says 80 per cent of the million jobs opening up in the province over the next 10-15 years will require post-secondary training.

“We think a partnership like this is an innovative way to address that need,” Gardner said.

Seabird Chief Clement Seymour said the goal of the partnership “is to increase the employability and employment rate of people in our community.”

“We are proud to work with Britco to provide high-quality education and training opportunities for our members,” he said.

Unlike other post-secondary facilities, Seabird College offers highschool graduation programs for adults and training for a wide range of professions.

About 60 per cent of students living on First Nations reserves in Canada have not completed highschool compared to 17 per cent in the population at large.

Diane Janzen, Seabird Island’s education manager, said the college is a long-held vision of band members to address that graduation statistic, and a growing part of the broader community.

The college offers band members education and training without the need to leave the reserve, and additional “wrap-around services” like a job placement officer to help find employment.

“This is the culmination of a dream that’s been going on for 50 years,” Janzen said.

“The vision goes way back to a group of (Seabird Island) women in the ‘60s and ‘70s with their own vision for education,” she said, which was carried forward “by chiefs and councillors who have always valued education.”

The college is also looking at working with B.C. Transit on becoming part of a new bus run between Agassiz and Hope.

Gardner said the July 11 agreement “really reflects the longstanding relationship and partnership” the company has with the Seabird Island Band.

Britco, the second largest manufacturers of modular buildings in North America, has more than 200 employees at its “flagship” plant in Agassiz, and 10 per cent of those are First Nations.

The company expanded its workforce by 40 per cent last year, and expects to expand by another 30-40 per cent this year, so students may find permanent jobs there.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

Just Posted

Agassiz speed skater heading to Canada West championships

Mya Onos, 11, is qualified for her first provincials this year, and is now taking on Western Canada

Harrison considers future of memorial bench program

Harrison to keep maintaining bench plaques, council seems to feel new benches could be in the future

BC Ferries has no plans to implement debit for vehicle ticket payments

Debit accepted for foot passengers, on-board purchases for all vessels

See stunning sights and amazing adventures at mountain film fest in Chilliwack

Discover what’s in our own backyard with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival tour

The complete history of science in one hour at Chilliwack Cultural Centre

We Now Know is a complete history lesson without the boring stuff

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read