Northern Development Partners With The BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association In Five Year Funding Agreement

March 8, 2012

“A Huge Step Forward” – New Funding Agreement For First Nations Skills Training Begins

Prince George, BC – The British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association(BC AMTA) is pleased to announce a new funding agreement has been reached with Northern Development Initiative Trust. The agreement begins today and provides for a five year funding formula. “This agreement will contribute to long term sustainability for our programming,” said David Watkins, Chair, Board of Directors, BC AMTA. “It is proof that BC AMTA’s results and its potential for future growth are recognized as important elements for economic development in central and northern British Columbia.”

BC AMTA collaborates with First Nations communities, mining and exploration companies, industry associations, government and educational institutions to create and deliver mine industry training and staffing programs. The model develops skills training specifically for Aboriginal students and focusses on matching the local workforce with local jobs. In less than two years BC AMTA has generated employment opportunities for more than 235 Aboriginal candidates. Almost two-thirds of these people have transitioned from unemployment. With a retention rate of 95%, BC AMTA’s industry partners are seeing measurable impacts on turnover rates and recruitment costs.

“The BC AMTA model is very successful in training and placing First Nations members in BC’s growing mining sector,” notes Janine North, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “Our mandate is to foster business growth in central and northern BC. We believe this partnership is a good fit and will help to fill the skills gap the mining industry is experiencing.”

“With more than 120 BC Indian Bands represented in our candidate pool, the alignment to industry’s need for workers is very strong,” said BC AMTA’s Executive Director Laurie Sterritt. “This funding agreement is a huge step forward and is very important when you consider that many operating mines and proposed mines are located on traditional First Nations territory in northern communities. Northern Development’s support will lead to direct benefits for both companies and First Nations.

Sterritt notes that this agreement is tied to the development of additional funding arrangements for BC AMTA programs. This commitment shows strong support for the Association and can only help in funding discussions with other stakeholders.

About The British Columbia Mine Training Association

The BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BC AMTA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing BC’s Aboriginal people with the skills they need to work in the minerals exploration, mine development and mining industries.

The BC AMTA model uses partnerships among mining and exploration companies, industry associations, First Nations, government, and educational institutions to recruit, evaluate, coach, train, and place aboriginal workers in BC mining projects.

Please visit the BC AMTA website to learn about BC AMTA programs and services and watch our informative BC AMTA video.

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia. Northern Development’s region spans over 70% of the province, from Lytton to Fort Nelson, and from Valemount to Haida Gwaii. This region includes thirty-nine incorporated communities, nine regional districts, one regional municipality and eighty-eight First Nations communities.

The Northern Development Initiative Trust is uniquely structured with regional community and business leadership to make great investments ‘in the North, for the North’. The Corporation was established as an initiative of the Province of British Columbia and is independently governed by a board of thirteen regionally-based directors. Northern Development’s Board has approved over $103 million in committed funding to more than 900 projects since its inception in 2005.

Media Contacts:

Laurie Sterritt
Executive Director
BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association
Telephone: 604 681-4321 ext. 112

Janine North
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Telephone:  250 561-2525