Pre-apprenticeship program free for former mill workers

The Lakes campus of the College of New Caledonia is enjoying a busy start to the new year.

The Lake campus of the College of New Caledonia (CNC) is enjoying a busy start to the new year, in part because of funding announced by the provincial government.  On Dec. 19, 2012 the province announced funding through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

CNC received over $300,000 from the ITA through LMA funding.  This funding will allow former Babine Forest Products workers to gain apprenticeship skills for free in Burns Lake.

“CNC is pleased to be a part of the recovery from the Babine mill tragedy,” said Scott Zayac, CNC Associate Regional Director.  “This program will give people in the area the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to re-enter the workforce and prepare for a career in the trades.”

Eligible participants can receive $70 per day while in the program, something that will help with the transition that some former employees will face as their EI benefits expire.

Programs are filling up quickly.  The 18-week pre-apprenticeship program, which prepares people to take up trades like heavy duty mechanics, welding and construction craft, already has 11 of its 20 spots filled.  All 11 are former mill employees.

Foundation Carpentry has 11 of 16 seats filled.  Three of the students in the 24 week program are former Babine Mill employees.