Edmonton

Government announces $1 million in funding for Indigenous training program

The federal government announced over a million dollars of supplemental funding for a program designed to get Indigenous youth in the trades.

Trade Winds offers 14- to 16-week pre-apprenticeship training for Indigenous students for almost every trade

Randy Boissonnault was on hand to announce $1 million in new funding for the Trade Winds to Success program. Enrollment is expected to increase from 135 to more than 400. 1:23

The federal government plans to spend more than $1 million on a program designed to help get Indigenous young people into the trades.  

Trade Winds partners with local unions to offer 14- to 16-week pre-apprenticeship training to Indigenous students for almost every trade. By completing the program the students receive their safety tickets and become apprenticeship ready.  
Randy Boissonnault announces the investment of more than $1 million for the Trade Winds to Success program. (CBC)

Announcing the funding increase on Monday, Randy Boissonnault, the Liberal MP for Edmonton Centre, said the funding will triple the number of spots offered to the young people.

"Right now, the program has the capacity for around 135,"  said Boissonnault. "And with this funding, and the additional partners, it will be well over 400 students."

The money will also allow the program to renovate training spaces, launch new marketing plans and a create new outreach business model for Bonnyville, he said. 

Leanne Froese, the program manager for Calgary Trade Winds, said the program gives Indigenous students "a chance that they might not get otherwise."

"I've seen some students that are coming straight off the reserves and don't have the skills to get right into an apprenticeship," said Froese.

The program helps prepare people for apprenticeships as boilermakers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, millwrights, plumbers, pipefitters, welders and insulators.

Since the program was founded in 2005, more than 1,000 students have graduated. 
Leanne Froese said the program gives Indigenous students "a chance that they might not get otherwise.” (CBC)

Navdeep Bains, the minister of innovation, science, and economic development, said he believes Indigenous people are an important part of Canada's economic prosperity.

"The Trade Winds to Success Training Society's expanded pre-apprenticeship program will ensure more Indigenous adult learners have access to the skills and knowledge required to secure a career of choice in the construction trades," Bains said in a press release

The Edmonton office for the program was awarded the 2013 Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award for its commitment to Aboriginal student success.