Nak’azdli Blade Runners: continuing to offer skills, knowledge and employment opportunities for local youth

Nak’azdli Band is currently accepting applications for the Blade Runners program beginning in January, 2017.

  • Nov. 23, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Nak’azdli Band is currently accepting applications for the Blade Runners program beginning in January, 2017.

The program accepts those 16 – 30 who have been unemployed, out of school or are underemployed.

The 12 week program pre-employment training program runs three groups every year and accepts five participants per group.

Caroline Ahuille runs the Blade Runners program in Fort St. James.

It’s an excellent opportunity,” Ahuille said. “Last year, 75% of our participants found employment or went back to school. The program also boosts self –esteem.”

According to Ahuille, students are offered advice from a variety of potential employers during a two week paid work placement also offered through the program.

“Employers offer their expertise, knowledge. We check up on the students, see how they are doing and make sure they are obtaining the essential skills required,” Ahuille said.

Blade Runners was established in 1994 in Vancouver, B.C.

The program was created to help provide youth with an opportunity to gain skills in construction trades.

Today, many valuable employment opportunities are made available and the program continues to focus on individual successes and independence.

During the program, participants will: participate in pre-employment training, receive skills enhancement certificates to make them more employable, receive career development support and guidance, receive job coaching, tutoring and mentor-ship and be given an opportunity to experience trades in training.

Participants will also engage in various courses in: construction safety, computer skills food safety, financial fitness, best drivers, resume writing and life skills, to name a few.

“This year we are really working on having training available within the film industry,” Ahuille said.

“There is a lot of interest and a lot of talent.”

Cultural activities are also a big component of the Blade Runners Program.

This includes drum making, Carrier language skills, history and storytelling.

“This cultural component gives students a sense of belonging,” Ahuille said.

“It keeps them grounded in knowing their roots and the confidence to move forward in their future endeavors.”

For more information about Blade Runners contact: Caroline Ahuille at: (250) 996-7171 or visit: bladerunners@nakazdli.ca

 

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