Tuition-free program targets Indigenous youth
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Assiniboine Community College and the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology have come together to offer a tuition-free applied building construction program for Indigenous youth.
The program will be offered at Assiniboine’s Parkland campus in Dauphin beginning on Feb. 27.
The partnership between the two colleges will provide barrier-free access to people interested in trades, Assiniboine dean of trades Kevin Poirier told the Sun.
“Lots of times there are barriers for folks getting into it — the cost of tools, the cost of tuition, the cost of the books — so being able to remove those barriers gives everybody equal access.”
Costs for training that supports entry into the job market is an “ongoing barrier” to employment, said Kris Desjarlais, Assiniboine’s director of Indigenous education.
“It’s welcome news when we’re able to offer opportunities where students can receive hands-on training free of this financial strain,” Desjarlais stated in a press released sent out by Assiniboine on Friday. “With this, students are free to focus on learning.”
The six-month program, which is funded by Algonquin College in Ontario, has space for 15 students and will focus on engaging Indigenous youth between the ages of 18 and 30 who are not currently employed or enrolled in other training or education. Tuition, textbooks, personal protective equipment, supplies and tools are all included in the program at no cost.
The applied building construction program is made up of six months of theory and practical learning, followed by a seven-week paid practicum, and is accredited by Apprenticeship Manitoba. Students who complete the program with an average of 70 per cent or higher in core trades subjects, find employment and register as an apprentice within two years of graduating will receive credit for Level 1 in-school technical training and 900 hours in the carpenter apprenticeship program.
The program will open the door to important, in-demand career opportunities for students and will bring skilled workers into the trade, Poirier said.
“We’re thrilled to have Algonquin College on board to advance this opportunity for Indigenous learners,” Poirier said. “This funding … goes a long way toward both transforming students’ lives and strengthening Manitoba.”
Anyone interested in entering the program can attend a free information session as part of their admission process. Sessions are available on Jan. 11 and Jan. 26, as well as Feb. 1 and Feb. 8.
For more details or to register for a session, visit Assiniboine.net/appliedbuilding.
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