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Province Invests $505,000 in SIIT to Grow Indigenous Workforce in Forestry

New partnership with Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies will deliver forestry sector training programs.

Aligned with Saskatchewan’s growth plan goal of increasing Indigenous participation in the natural resource industry, the Government of Saskatchewan is investing in the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) to deliver two training initiatives to address workforce needs and grow the Indigenous workforce in the forestry sector.

“Our government is continuously identifying labour market and economic development opportunities in northern Saskatchewan to ensure everyone in the North benefits from Saskatchewan’s growing natural resource sector,” Minister of Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison said. “This investment will help fill the thousands of jobs our forestry sector is creating in northern Saskatchewan. Partnerships like this are an essential component of the province’s labour market strategy, ensuring Saskatchewan people have access to the skills and training needed to fill the jobs our economy is creating.”

SIIT delivers programs that reflect current labour market needs of Saskatchewan’s Indigenous communities. The Forestry Log Haul Step Program will support up to 20 individuals in gaining the 980 hours of experience required to become a fully licensed log haul driver. SIIT will assist new drivers in finding employment opportunities and establishing connections with employers in the forestry sector.

“SIIT is committed to supporting First Nation’s continued growth in the natural resource sector,” SIIT Vice-President of Employment Development and Career Services Lisa Shingoose said. “No group has more experience with responsible stewardship of the land nor a more vested interest in its sustainability. SIIT is very thankful for this investment and the training it will support.”

The Government of Saskatchewan works directly with Indigenous organizations and communities to identify opportunities and pathways that help increase Indigenous participation in the economy. With multiple career and trades training centres and mobile job connection units around the province, SIIT will continue to expand its provincial impact. In addition to the Log Haul Step Program, this funding will support the purchase of two Simlog Simulators for SIIT’s mobile job connection program, which helps job seekers in First Nation and northern communities gain virtual work-site training, and learn safety-conscious operating habits for heavy equipment.

“This investment will help bridge existing skill gaps and cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workforce,” Mistik Management Ltd General Manager Robert Follett said. “We’re excited to see the positive impact it will have on our province, and especially in our community.”

The investments into the Log Haul Step program and Simlog Simulators support the provinces recently released Building the Workforce for a Growing Economy: the Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy. In the strategy the province outlines how it is ensuring Saskatchewan has the labour force needed to meet employer demand and ensure that Saskatchewan people have the first opportunity to benefit from the province’s growing economy.

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