A Memorandum of Understand (MOU) has been signed in the Okanagan to encourage success in trades education and apprenticeship for First Nations workers.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the Okanagan Training and Development Council (OTDC) met in West Kelowna on Tuesday to sign the MOU as part of their commitment to support the success of First Nations in trades.
“We’ve always had an excellent working relationship with ITA,” said Raf DeGuevara, OTDC Board chair. “And now the signing of this MOU recognizes and validates the work of OTDC and the support of ITA in assisting indigenous apprentices to move through the apprenticeship system towards their Red Seal.”
Through this MOU, OTDC becomes the sponsor of apprentices working on local projects, ensuring employment for their local communities and creating an appropriate cultural approach to an apprenticeship pathway and experience. As a sponsor, OTDC has the responsibility to register apprentices, track their hours, and ensure contractors are hiring registered apprentices.
In October 2018, OTDC along with ITA and other sponsors, hosted the first Workforce Connects Trade Forum in Kelowna where indigenous employment services staff, employers, unions, educational institutions and other community service providers came together for 1.5 days to learn about each other. The event included cultural sharing workshops and a series of strategic conversations about how to attract and retain more indigenous apprentices in a variety of Trades’ areas.
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