All Stories

First Nations Truck and Coach Apprentices Graduate

Dec 12, 2016

Indigenous woman working on an engine

(NORTH BAY, ONT.) – The first cohort of Canadore College’s pre-apprenticeship truck and coach technician program celebrated their graduation last Saturday.

A partnership with Wikwemikong Unceded Territory and funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program, the program was designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to inspect, repair and maintain commercial trucks, emergency vehicles, buses, road transport vehicles as well as perform work on structural, mechanical, electrical and electronic vehicular systems.

“We are so proud of our first graduating class,” said Judy Manitowabi, manager of community based and contract training in Canadore College’s First Peoples’ Centre. “Over half of the graduates have already secured full-time employment and others have offers pending.”

Manitowabi said the program was uniquely created to meet community need, as identified by the Wii-ni N'guch-tood Employment and Training in Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ont.

Students undertook academic upgrading in math, safety certifications and career development, level 1 apprenticeship theory and practical lab, welding trade exposure and 8 weeks of industry placements. Manitowabi says that one of the program’s greatest benefits is the fact that pre-apprentices will graduate with level 1 training, eliminating the need for employer release time.

Over 83 per cent of the participants lived outside of North Bay, mostly in First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island, and graduates received commercial vehicle and equipment apprenticeship level 1 (truck and coach technician) and commercial vehicle and equipment pre-apprenticeship program (truck and coach technician) certificates.

The pre-apprenticeship program ran from April – November 2016.

Canadore trains people through applied learning, leadership and innovation. It provides access to over 65 full-time quality programs and has outstanding faculty and student services. Nearly 20 percent of Canadore’s total student population is of Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Cree, Algonquin, Mohawk, Inuit or Métis decent from Ontario, Québec and nation-wide, one of the highest representations in the provincial college system. The College and its students add nearly $290 million to the regions of Nipissing and Parry Sound. Approximately 1,000 students graduate from Canadore each year, and they join 43,000 alumni working across the globe.