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Vernon  

$1.4M training program

More than 50 Aboriginal workers will benefit from a $1.4 million training program announced in Vernon Friday. 

The program is focused on heavy equipment operator training and will be provided through a Community and Employer Partnership between the B.C. government and the Southern Interior Construction Association.

The workers will get 13 weeks of training and eight weeks of followup support to help them find work as heavy equipment operators in the north and central Okanagan. The project will last one year and is scheduled to finish in March 2016.

Participating First Nations include the Splatsin First Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band and the Westbank First Nation, which will hold the training sessions on their respective lands.

"This funding covers three intakes of our heavy equipment operators program and provides an opportunity to engage a segment of our population that often faces employment challenges as well as meet the future skilled trades needs," said Bill Everitt, SICA chief operating officer.

The first intake of trainees began with the Splatsin First Nation in the Enderby area on May 4. The second intake starts in August in the Vernon area with the Okanagan Indian Band and the third intake is in November with the Westbank First Nation in the West Kelowna area.

"Building the future starts with finding a dependable, rewarding job. That's why we launched the Skills for Jobs Blueprint - to connect people with the in-demand training they need, in the regions that need workers with a particular skill set," said Premier Christy Clark.

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