The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink projects are proud sponsors of a number of education and skills training programs in northern British Columbia.
Education is a pathway to prosperity for many people and in northern B.C. TransCanada’s Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program is focused on helping build a skilled, local labour force, and prepare workers for the world of opportunity that awaits them.
This program provides funding for program development, equipment purchases, classroom ‘seats’ for participants, and targeted bursaries for initiatives in northern B.C. that align with natural gas pipeline construction and operations, and the LNG industry.
We strongly believe in building local capacity to assist individuals in taking advantage of opportunities related to our projects. That’s why we’re working with northern post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal training organizations to ensure residents receive the kind of essential skills and relevant trades training needed to participate in pipeline and other development projects. Since 2014, TransCanada has made over 800 course seats available to northern B.C. students.
“Indigenous and local communities, as well as the socio-economic assessments from both the Coastal GasLink and Prince Rupert pipeline projects, have identified the need for skills training and industry certification programs in northern B.C. These partnerships are a direct response to that feedback and we look forward to the contribution that these students will make to our industry,” said Kristine Delkus, TransCanada’s Executive Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations and General Counsel
This summer we saw a number of milestones from two of our key partnerships:
Northern Lights College
TransCanada announced its partnership with NLC in BC’s Peace region in November, 2015. Since then, the college has distributed 43 Trades Bursaries to B.C. residents, including 16 Aboriginal students, enrolled in Heavy Duty Mechanics, Welding, Millwright, Electrician and Professional Cook courses.
In addition, over the past 6 months, the college has distributed 66 Workforce Training Bursaries (ranging from $100 – $1,500) to students enrolled in industrial safety training programs (Chainsaw Safety Training, OFA Levels 1 & 3, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, etc.).
“The Workforce Training bursaries have filled a real need in our community,” said Donna Kane, Executive Director of the Northern Lights College Foundation. “They are one of the first awards available to students enrolling in Workforce training courses. In more than a few cases, a single course has made the difference to a community member’s ability to find employment.”
One student, Robert, a father of three (and soon to be four!) and a recipient of a Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Trades Bursary, told us, “Without the bursaries I would have been stressed from worrying about my family’s well-being and might not have considered my trade.” Robert’s hard work and dedication allow him to complete his training, the bursary made his journey more comfortable.
Our work in northern B.C. is designed to help build community capacity and long-term success, we’re proud to see that the programs we’ve sponsored are already providing tangible benefits to northern B.C.’s workforce.
Tribal Resources Investment Corp. (TRICORP)
Another exciting celebration was held in Prince Rupert, BC this summer as a third cohort of students graduated from the TRICORP skills training program. The program, which is sponsored by Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink Projects in partnership with Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada, is a 10-week industry certification program focused on building essential skills and employment readiness. Over the term, students gain industry safety certifications including H2S Alive, Fall Protection, WHIMS, as well as essential skills, math and English upgrading, and job coaching.
The safety certification training was provided by Kaine Safety Group, an aboriginally owned, Prince Rupert-based company who also offers mentorship to the students after course completion. One outstanding student, Tia, has already been recruited to work for TRICORP as a Program Coordinator.
“Combining those life skills and essential skills with the safety tickets is important. I’ve found that you can take all the training in safety that you want but if you don’t have some of those other things supporting the learning process you might not have the same success,” said Trevor Murdock of Kaine Safety Group.
After one year of the TRICORP/TransCanada partnership, there have been 37 successful graduates from First Nations in northwestern B.C. including Wet’suwet’en, Gitxsan and Lax Kw’alaams.
We want to congratulate all of the hardworking graduates from these programs and we wish them the best in their futures.