February 3, 2010 — Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario, is proud to announce the establishment of two new employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal people living in Ontario.

The Aboriginal Apprenticeship Centre and Ready to Work are funded by Service Canada through the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF). The Apprenticeship Centre is established in partnership with Sault College, and Ready to Work represents a partnership with OTEC, Ontario’s Tourism Sector Council organization.

“The Métis Nation of Ontario was chosen to deliver these programs to all Aboriginal people in Ontario because of its impressive track record in effective and efficient program delivery,” President Lipinski said. “Productive partnerships of this kind are fundamental to creating the kinds of opportunities Aboriginal Ontarians need to realize their full potential.”

The Apprenticeship Centre, based at Sault College’s Sault Ste. Marie campus, aims to provide all interested peoples in the Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding Algoma District areas with a client based approach to pursuing careers in the skilled trades. The 18 month project will focus on construction related trades as these skills are badly needed in communities outside of major centres. Potential clients have already expressed interest and there is support from many stakeholders including Sault College’s Native Education and Training Department, industry representatives and the Aboriginal community.”

The Ready to Work project will be delivered in Ottawa, Midland and Sault Ste. Marie. It aims to provide unique and specialized training to those interested in a career in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. The project is based on an industry focused essential skills model that provides 10 weeks of occupation-specific training and certification followed by an employment experience.

The Aboriginal Apprenticeship Centre project aims to recruit and engage 40 participants, to establish links with the Aboriginal community throughout the Algoma District, and develop a sustainability plan by the project end date of March 31, 2011. Ready to Work will offer two separate program intakes at each of its three locations: one in April 2010 and the second in June 2010.

For more information about the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Centre, please contact Bob or Lynne at 705-759-2554 ext. 2479 or by email: robertk@metisnation.org or lynnes@metisnation.org. For more information about Ready to Work, please contact Cyndi at 705-254-1768 or by e-mail: cyndib@metisnation.org.