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Province helps Indigenous people enter trades

The Alberta government is funding a pre-apprenticeship program to help Indigenous people pursue careers in the construction trades. 

Trade Winds to Success pre-apprenticeship program

L-R: Colin Belliveau, Director of Training and Apprenticeship, Alberta Carpenters Training Centre, Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Jon Carson, MLA Edmonton-Meadowlark.

A grant of $500,000 will go toward the Trade Winds to Success Training Society’s 16-week pre-apprenticeship program. It offers classroom and hands-on instruction to students pursuing careers as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, millwrights, plumbers, steam/pipefitters, welders or insulators.

The training program also incorporates Indigenous cultural practices, such as Elder mentorship and a daily smudge ceremony. As well, instructors have a better understanding of the unique issues that Indigenous students can face and are able to help them overcome challenges and barriers to success.

“Alberta is working to make life better for Indigenous peoples by ensuring they have every opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labour force and economy. Indigenous people are vital to maintaining a strong and stable workforce and this program will help address some of the barriers faced by Indigenous people in fully participating in Alberta’s economy.”

Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“We're helping Albertans get the right skills and education needed for good-paying jobs as our economy rebounds. Our funding means Trade Winds to Success can continue providing these pre-apprenticeship skills to Alberta’s Indigenous peoples as they prepare for rewarding careers.”

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

“Indigenous people represent the fastest-growing section of our country’s workforce; investing to get people the skills and training they’ll need to find and keep good jobs is part of our plan to build a strong middle class.”

Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Trade Winds to Success is honoured to receive this support from the Alberta government. This grant will help us to provide the tools and resources that Indigenous students need to be successful in the trades and to create positive change in their lives.”

Kathleen Thompson, interim executive director, Trade Winds to Success Training Society

Quick facts

  • Alberta Advanced Education contributed $300,000 and Indigenous Relations contributed $200,000.
  • Trade Winds to Success Training Society has graduated 1,264 students since 2006, with a success rate of 86 per cent.
  • The society has offices in Edmonton, Calgary and
  • Bonnyville.
  • Trade Winds to Success partners with:
    • Building Trades of Alberta which represents 16 unions and 21 locals in the province
    • Construction Labour Relations of Alberta
    • Indigenous organizations, including Oteenow Employment and Training Society, Rupertsland Institute-Métis Centre of Excellence, Community Futures Treaty 7 and Aboriginal Futures Career & Training Centre

Listen to the news conference


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