New skills training for Métis community in BC through Project Connect

June 8, 2020

New skills training for Métis community members in Terrace, Prince George and Nanaimo launches this month through Project Connect, a partnership with Royal Roads University Professional and Continuing Studies, Métis Nation BC (MNBC) and RaceRocks 3D.

Project Connect will design and test an online delivery model for a professional project administrator program created for and with BC’s Métis community.

The program will include courses in project management, proposal writing, budgeting, MS Office, data management, reporting, communication and presentation skills, and coaching and mentoring skills. Through close collaboration with Métis Elders and other knowledge keepers, the program will also incorporate cultural components not generally seen in online employment training.

Program graduates will be job-ready and, through the services of MNBC, receive assistance in securing employment at program conclusion.

“Royal Roads has been delivering quality online learning experiences for more than two decades. As one of the first universities in Canada to do so, we are uniquely positioned to collaborate with industry and co-create programming aimed specifically at skill-building for the future. It is such an important time to focus on accessibility and capacity-building in all communities,” says Royal Roads University President Philip Steenkamp.

Offering training in new ways is key to reaching communities, says Lisa Clement, Métis Nation BC’s Economic Development and Partnerships director.

“Technology enabled training allows us to bring training to people in their own home no matter where they are located. It will open doors to training and education for Indigenous people who might not otherwise have the chance,” she says.

Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, says this program is a unique example of FSC’s investments in building an inclusive workforce for the future and includes innovative and radical approaches to training to build capacity and fill future skills gaps.

“Utilizing game engines; delivering training through story, seeing, and doing; and incorporating cultural components not generally seen in employment training means this project will reach Metis communities in new and innovative ways,” says Barata.

RaceRocks 3D is an Indigenous-owned and led company that provides technology-enabled learning (TEL) solutions for the defence and aerospace sector in Canada. RaceRocks’ tools and expertise will ensure Project Connect reaches communities in accessible and engaging ways not currently available outside industrial and military training systems.

“At RaceRocks, we know this is the technology needed to connect and provide distributed and remote learners with the access to the learning opportunities and skills they need,” says CVO Scott Dewis. “COVID has made it even more clear that the ability to distribute TEL is the ability to decentralize access to education to individuals and communities everywhere.”

Teaching around a real-world workplace or community issue as well as the incorporation of a Métis mentors component will further support student engagement and success, both in the program and the job market.

The project is funded by $1.3M from the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Le projet est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.