Starting in May, 30 Indigenous students in Northern BC will be able to access training thanks to new Land Reclamation and Environmental Monitoring Programs.

They were founded following a partnership between the BC Oil and Gas Commission and UNBC.

Simply put, the programs were made by the industry, for the industry.

“The idea is once the students go through this training they’ll have an opportunity to get employment straight out the door and we have it in May and June so that way as the students finish the program they can go and look for employment right away,” says Nicole Neufeld, UNBC Continuing Studies Manager.

“The biggest thing is that we try and target which industries will be looking for employees in the future and partnering with those industries.”

The courses will provide students with practical job training for work in their communities and in natural resource management.

“Environmental Monitoring is your entry-level position that you would do with an environmental based company and you would be able to walk directly into that job and latter into a an environmental technician position, which is a little bit higher job and often involves two or three years of a university-based program and similarly with the Land Reclamation you would be walking into an officer’s position.”

Each program is three weeks in length and will take place in Prince George and Fort St John.

Funding will cover tuition, accommodation and food costs.

The Oil and Gas Commission will provide has provided $125,000 to the program while the BC Oil and Gas Research and Innovation Society has distributed $25,000.