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New northwest B.C. skills training centre opens its doors in Kitselas

Anyone living in northwest B.C. can access new training and employment
Sierra Spencer, Isabelle McKee and CJ Bennett-Nabess. (Submitted photo/Sarah Zimmerman)

Kitselas celebrated the grand opening of a new club house and skills training centre that opened its drop-in space and training facilities at 4404 Queensway Drive on June 30.

Five Tier System LP (K5T) is a community-led social enterprise owned by Kitselas First Nation that offers a space for people to drop in to learn about regional employment and support programming.

The location is the second recent land purchase by the First Nation. Kitselas Band Council Chief Glenn Bennett said the initiative is important both to the Kitselas and to other First Nations in the region whose members can benefit from it.

“The programs and services that they’re going to be delivering aren’t exclusive to Kitselas members only… We’re very excited to be able to provide some skills training for the various projects that are underway,” Bennett said.

“We’re hoping that the people who are taking the training for the trades may one day come and be part of the construction of new homes, a convenience store and gas bar. We want to create employment and economic development opportunities for our people.”

Bennett said the space will allow people to stay in the area and be a part of local economic growth.

“Now people can do their training here. They won’t need to go away to Prince George of the Lower Mainland. They can do it right there and be home with their family.”

K5T executive director David Hansen said the project embodies the desires of Kitselas members to extend their benefits to everyone living within their territory.

“Our vision is to create a safe and consistent space for people to drop in and work on building their dreams,” Hansen said.

“If you are looking to gain a Red Seal in a skilled trade, work on a First Nations community owned project, or get back to the land, K5T is a safe space to find your team.”

Hansen said k5T also contracts work to Kitselas First Nation, Kitselas Development Corporation and others, having recently branched into food production and housing developments. “So we have both skills programming and contract services.”

Thanks to a five-year partnership with the Kitselas First Nation Band Council, K5T is working to develop a regional workforce primarily funded by the province and industry.

The organization is engaged in partnership agreements with industry, government and community bodies to support skill building, work experience and resources thanks to an agreement with the province through the Industry Trades Authority.

Anyone living within the Kitselas Territory and northwest B.C. can access both the training and employment, that can lead to careers within Kitselas and partner owned projects.


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