New provincial funding supports Indigenous network technician training

December 5, 2019

November 29, 2019 — Augmented and virtual reality environments along with Indigenized curriculum will be part of a new network technician training program delivered through Royal Roads University’s unique approach to online learning in partnership with the First Nations Technology Council (FNTC).

This RRU-FNTC collaboration is supported by $250,000 in new funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST).

“I’m proud to see RRU working in partnership with the First Nations Technology Council,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “It’s so important that we support Indigenous communities to take part in the dynamic tech sector. By funding investments in technology training, we’re helping create world-class tech talent, support a booming tech sector, and open doors to good-paying jobs. This partnership is an example of reconciliation in action.” 

Since February 2018, FNTC and Royal Roads have worked together to develop and deliver the online version of the Foundations in Innovation and Technology (FiT) program. This partnership harnesses Royal Roads’ tech-enabled teaching and learning expertise to expand FNTC’s digital skills program and supports the full, equitable participation and leadership of Indigenous people in BC’s fastest growing economic sector.

Now, the partnership will develop a community-centered approach to computer/network technician training. The technician training program will enable Indigenous students to gain industry-recognized skills for a sector where nearly 1,500 job openings are projected to go unfilled between 2016 and 2021.

“Our partnership with FNTC is so rewarding — it’s fantastic to be able continue this collaboration that helps put tools for change in the hands of Indigenous students and communities,” says Royal Roads University President Philip Steenkamp.

The program will expand access to historically exclusionary programs and high barriers to entrance and provide Indigenous participants with industry-recognized skills. It will build capacity in Indigenous communities across the province and throughout BC’s labour market.