Representatives from the new Fundamentals of Forestry Program held an information session for prospective students in Port McNeill.
The 12 week program is designed to provide new forestry workers with the foundational skills and knowledge required to work safely, and will be held in Woss begining April 16.
“This program that we are going to be talking about tonight really started in conversation almost two years ago when we were talking about the need to put new policies into place to help attract new people to the island and to give educational opportunities for people on the north end of the island so they didn’t have to move away and go elsewhere for their education,” said Pat English, Manager of Economic Development for the Regional District of Mount Waddington, at the info session in the Haida Way Hotel on Feb. 8.
Paul Mottershead, Associate Dean of Trades and Applied Technology, gave a presentation detailing what the program will entail, what working in the industry is like, what kind of candidates they are looking for, and how students can apply for the program.
“There’s more people retiring today than coming into the workforce, so there’s some really great opportunities for you,” said Mottershead, adding, “This is a fantastic opportunity, if you have some friends get them into it as well, because where else can you get 12 weeks of good solid funded training that is going to allow you to be safe out in industry and move into a career?”
Western Forest Products has committed to sponsoring six seats in the program, and additional funding is being sourced to sponsor more students. To apply for the program or for more information contact Vancouver Island Univerity at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications is March 15.
Vancouver Island University and BC Forestry Safety Council assisted in the development of the program, but the project is sponsored and supported by the Vancouver Island North Training and Attraction Society (VINTAS) who’s founding members include Town of Port McNeill, Woss Residents Association, ‘Namgis First Nation, Regional District of Mount Waddington, North Island College, School District 85, Community Futures of Mount Waddington, Western Forest Products, North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society and North Island Employment Foundation Society.