Twenty-three First Nations youth, between the ages of 16 and 22, recently completed a summer of hard work in forestry-related and silviculture-related projects.
“It was a hybrid between a silviculture work project and a training program,” Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd. program director Bob Dearden said.
“The summer activities provided work experience, learning outcomes, life skills development, career exploration and some paid work.”
Dearden added, for some, it was an opportunity for their first independent working experience.
The Quesnel-based First Nations Youth Forestry Training Program was developed and designed by the Nazko Band and Blue Collar Silviculture Ltd.
“The FNYFTP has been an overwhelming success, in my opinion, just to see the kids come back, full of confidence, team spirit and pride after just seven weeks,” Nazko First Nation general manager Brenda Gardiner said.
“For Blue Collar Silviculture to see the potential in the Nazko youth also helps in future employment possibilities for the kids and educated, employed youth are the future for Nazko.”
College of New Caledonia provided a variety of instructors and certifications, including trades workshops in welding, carpentry, plumbing and electrical, S100 fire suppression course, first aid, chain saw training and ATV safe operation.