Spring has been a busy time for the Education Department at Huu-ay-aht First Nations as we begin ramping up efforts to develop partnerships and programs to support Huu-ay-aht citizens’ education, training, and future employment.

On May 25th, 27th, 28th and June 1, Huu-ay-aht hosted our Education and Training Roadshow in Anacla, Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

The Huu-ay-aht Education Department would like to thank those who attended the Education Roadshow and also share information with those who could not attend. The purpose of the Roadshow was to look for candidates to fill seats for trades programs.

For 2015-2016, Huu-ay-aht has funding for living allowance, tuition, and support for students. This arrangement is unique as before the living allowance was not funded for trades programs. Huu-ay-aht sees the need for trades jobs that are in demand now and even more so in the next five to ten years as the Nation explores potential projects such as the Trans-Shipment Container Hub and LNG facility at Sarita Bay.

Regardless of whether the two major projects that Huu-ay-aht are exploring go ahead or not, with our growing community and the aging population of baby boomers there is going to be a huge demand for jobs in trades, healthcare, and service industries. Huu-ay-aht would like to be prepared so that Huu-ay-aht citizens benefit from future employment opportunities. At the same time as recruiting for trades, we are looking to see what your interests are, where your education is, where you would like to be, and support you in whatever direction you would choose.

Our efforts to connect with Huu-ay-aht citizens were accompanied by outreach to education and training stakeholders in the Alberni Valley. On May 26th, the Education Department co-hosted an Education Forum with the City of Port Alberni, which was held at the North Island College Port Alberni campus. The forum highlighted growing and emerging industries in the Alberni Valley and addressed ways of fostering education and training opportunities to support local employment in these industries.  While this day allowed us to begin to build partnerships and generate action strategies for employment readiness in the region, this work will continue to be carried out over the coming months and years with the newly formed Alberni Valley Learning Council which includes representatives from the City of Port Alberni, local employment support agencies, educational institutions, and industry.

At both the Education Roadshow for Huu-ay-aht citizens and the Education Forum for local stakeholders in education, we shared the Huu-ay-aht Strategic Plan, which highlights where Huu-ay-aht wants to be in 20 years, as defined by our mission, vision, and the following five posts: Our People will be free from the negative effects of colonization; Our Children will grow up safe, healthy, connected to the community and exemplify Huu-ay-aht values; Our Home will be a safe, healthy and appealing place where half of our people choose to live; Our Land will continue to provide sustainable wealth that respects the Huu-ay-aht values of conservation; Our Economy will be operated sustainably and will be the major employer in the region and the major source of revenue for the Nation. We felt that it was important to share Huu-ay-aht’s vision for the future with both the stakeholders in the Alberni Valley and Huu-ay-aht citizens, so that we can all pull together and work together as one. To achieve these strategic goals in 20 years, we are going to need the support of Huu-ay-aht government, our citizens, neighboring First Nations and stakeholders of the Alberni Valley.

In the coming weeks, the Education Department will be calling out to Huu-ay-aht citizens to recruit for trades programs and post-secondary. If you have any questions in regards to post-secondary or trades programs please do not hesitate to contact Brent Ronning, Post-secondary Education Coordinator, at or 778-421-1022.

I am interested in exploring new career options, but I don’t know what I want to do yet.  What are my next steps?

Step 1: Research careers of interest

Check out career exploration resources to discover how your skills and interests match up with careers that are currently in demand in BC. The following are a great resources to get started with:


Includes an A-Z directory of jobs that are in demand in the province, videos that highlight “a day in the life” of different tradespeople and professionals, and tools for matching your skills to existing jobs.  Visit:

Career Compass:

Includes quiz to help you to determine what jobs would be a good fit for you based on your skills and interests as well as occupational profiles.

Step 2: Get in touch with us

Complete a Skills and Training Upgrade Form or send us an email so that we know that you are interested and can work with you to find educational opportunities and resources to suit your needs. You can reach Brent Ronning, Huu-ay-aht’s Secondary and Post-Secondary Education Coordinator at

We are currently putting together a list of names of Huu-ay-aht citizens who are interested in employment and training opportunities, so we can keep you in the loop on updates.

Step 3: Start training

We are currently exploring job shadowing opportunities that would allow Huu-ay-aht citizens to “sample” potential jobs of interest before entering the associated training programs.  If funding permits, these could begin as soon as spring 2015. Entry into post-secondary programs will depend on your availability as well as the availability of funding opportunities. The first wave of intake into programs will begin in September 2015.


I am interested in employment in trades.  What are some trades-specific resources I can use to learn about trades in BC?Trade

In addition to the Career Trek and Career Compass websites, the Industry Trade Authority of BC has a lot of useful information. This website highlights everything you need to know about apprenticeships and industry training in BC. Visit:

I have heard that Huu-ay-aht is focusing on bringing trades programs to North Island College in Port Alberni. I live outside of the Barkley Sound/Alberni Valley region.  Is there funding available to take a program that is being offered at a school closer to where I currently live?

Yes, permitted you are eligible, the education funding will be made available to citizens at schools in the across Canada. Students with valid Huu-ay-aht citizenship who are residents of Canada for the 12 months preceding their initial application for Post-Secondary funding will be prioritized.

I am interested in working in the LNG industry. What are the main trades that will be in demand during the construction phase for LNG facilities?BCtrades

The trades jobs that will be in highest demand during construction will include

  1. Construction trades helpers and labourers
  2. Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  3. Welders and related machine operators
  4. Concrete finishers
  5. Transport truck drivers
  6. Carpenters
  7. Heavy equipment operators
  8. Gas fitters
  9. Purchasing agents and officers
  10. Crane Operators

Additional trades jobs that will be in demand during construction will include millwrights, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, iron and sheet metal workers, and insulators.

What are the main trades that would be in demand during the operations phase of an LNG facility?

The direct jobs that will be in demand during operations include engineers, administrative workers, equipment operators, technicians, and security.

I am interested in employment in the healthcare industry. What jobs are currently in demand in the region?

The five occupations expected to grow the fastest in the Vancouver Island region are health related.  They include:

  • Optometrists, chiropractors, and other health diagnosing and treating professionals
  • Professional occupations in nursing
  • Therapy and assessment professionals
  • Managers in healthcare
  • Assisting occupations in support of health services

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