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First Nations program prepares students for work by using construction

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A new First Nations pre-employment program is using construction work as an entry point to get students ready for the workforce.

The Touchwood Agency Tribal Council set up a shop where students are currently constructing homes from the ground up. The homes will later be installed on the surrounding First Nations.

Many of the students have no prior experience in construction and have caught on well.

For the coordinators, the experience is about building both individual and group success.

“They are here to create opportunities. They’re here to provide the training and do things. They’re not just about building the students, but building the community,” Phil Polsom, director of training for the Christian Labour Association of Canada, said.

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“It’s good to go into an office and see young people at work, laughing, talking, getting along, and they’re all from different First Nations in our tribal council,” said Julius Manitopyes, a councillor of Muskowekwan First Nation.

For the next assignment, students will be heading outdoors to learn to work in the elements.

There are guaranteed job opportunities for everyone who finishes the course. 

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