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Grant For Aquaculture Training

CANADA - The Ministry of Advanced Education has announced that grant funding will be provided for training programmes to support First Nations aquaculture workers.

Thirty-six First Nations aquaculture workers will now have the opportunity to receive training in shellfish technician, supervisory and management roles, providing them with the skills needed to access good jobs in their local communities to support their families.

To conduct the training and cover related costs, including student travel, the Province is providing C$300,000 in one-time funding to Vancouver Island University (C$167,750), Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (C$110,000) and Northwest Community College (C$23,250). The training plans include health and safety, scallop biology, scallop culture techniques, farm infrastructure and maintenance.

All workers taking part in the training programmes have been hired through the Coastal First Nations Shellfish Training and Employment Strategy, a Coastal First Nations initiative designed to further support participation in the growing shellfish farming industry.

First Nations workers who receive training are employed at shellfish aquaculture operations near the Heiltsuk First Nation, Metlakatla First Nation and Haida Nation communities along the northern British Columbia coast.

Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education, commented: “This funding and the training provided will help First Nations communities build capacity and increase year-round employment in shellfish aquaculture, creating jobs in rural British Columbia.”

Executive Director for Coastal First Nations, Art Sterritt, added: “Coastal First Nations recognise that our economic development ambitions need to extend beyond current fisheries activities."

"If we are to create a successful shellfish industry we need community members who can effectively operate and manage the business. The funding for the training programme will provide the participants with the knowledge and skills to contribute to the economic development of their communities."

Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, also added: “First Nations will play an important role in British Columbia’s aquaculture industry, and this funding will help support that role in the years ahead. The training that will be offered is an investment in a sector that provides an estimated 6,000 jobs and more than C$224 million in wages for British Columbians.”

the Fish Site Editor

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