Trades and Skills Development


Smithers Exploration Group

The Smithers Exploration Group and Northwest Community College are partners in the School of Exploration and Mining. Specific programs include training for camp operations, drill core technician, environmental monitor or mining exploration field assistants, basic prospector training, surface diamond driller’s helper, introduction to metal leaching and acid rock drainage, and workforce exploration skills training. Northwest Community College also offers other programs that are of interest to the industry.


Kitimat Valley Institute

Kitamat Valley Institute is committed to providing efficient training opportunities that assist individuals in Northern B.C. develop essential employment skills specific to local industry and institutional training needs. Training programs include Wilderness Information for Lead Development, Oil and Gas Safety, Introduction of Scaffolding, Enhanced Security Training, and Energy Corridor Service Worker. Kitimat Valley Institute also provides employment services for their graduates. Online resources include a course price list, room rental information, an academic calendar and contact information.

Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute

The Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a Insitute (WWNI) is a non-profit post-secondary education institution that offers academic courses in cooperation with the University of Northern BC, Northwest Community College, and Royal Roads University. The institute is located in the village of New Aiyansh on the northwest coast of British Columbia. There is a wide range of programs available at the institute in order to meet the diverse educational needs of the people of the Nass Valley. The Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute is a four pronged institution offering academic, vocational, technical, and continuing education for adults. A student can complete a full Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies-Nisga'a or complete upgrading or grade 12 in the University-College Entrance Preparation program. WWNI is the only place where students can earn a certificate in Nisga'a Studies.

Hecate Strait Employment Development Society

Hecate Strait Employment Development Society is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide employment programming and training to enhance the opportunities of the residents of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii. The organization has offices in three centres: Prince Rupert, Masset and Queen Charlotte City. The development society has a training centre that offers everything from customer service and office training to forklift certification.  Hecate Strait Employment Development Society also has a range of online resources including a job board, services for employers, and programs for people of ages.

Haida Heritage Centre

The Haida Heritage Centre is the Haida Nation’s physical space representing the effort to preserve and express their rich cultural history and identity. The heritage centre provides opportunities for current and future generations of Haida people to build rewarding careers, express themselves creatively, gain valuable work experience, and to become educated in both the Haida and western ways.

The Haida Heritage Centre offers three branches of educational programs: Apprentice Style learning, Accredited learning, and Tours and Research learning. The Apprentice Style learning teaches traditional style Haida art and weaving. The centre provides space for younger artists to learn from masters. The Haida Heritage Centre has seen the creation of three Haida canoes, two full sized totem poles, and the weaving of a full size Raven’s tail robe. Haida song and dance practices as well as courses on casting and painting are also offered at the centre.

The Haida Heritage Centre has two main educational partners who deliver accredited skills and training to the local community and students studying at Haida Gwaii. The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society’s programs offer students an opportunity to study in a remote, resource-dependent community where social, cultural, ecological, political and economic pressures converge on a local level. 

The Northwest Community College offers courses and certificates that enable students to have the skills needed to work in an environment that protects Haida Gwaii’s heritage. The Northwest Community College offers the Coastal Guardian and Watchmen Training program, which prepares community members to gain the skills necessary to work as a Haida Gwaii Watchmen. Also offered is the Haida Gwaii Field School, which is an interdisciplinary biocultural studies program. Students learn about the unique biological and cultural diversity of Haida Gwaii and the importance of sustaining that diversity.

A significant part of the Haida Heritage Centre’s educational system is the tour programs, presentations and special events offered to visitors and the local community. Travelers can learn about Haida Gwaii through the museum displays, archives and the highly knowledgeable staff. During the summer the centre has daily tours about Totem poles, Weaving and Canoes as well as programs that include Haida Language lessons, Storytelling and Song and Dance demonstrations that give visitors a deeper understanding and appreciation for Haida Culture. The heritage centre and Gwaii Haanas also offer a speaker series and interpretive presentations about Gwaii Haanas.

Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society

The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society is an enterprising non-profit applying a community-based approach to education and development on Haida Gwaii. Visiting professors enrich local dialogue and engagement in global events and issues. Students contribute their energy and talent to community projects and, through positive role modeling, bring fresh inspiration to the youth of Haida Gwaii. The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society provides economic development and diversification opportunities for the people of Haida Gwaii.

The Haida Gwaii Semester is an intensive field study program for undergraduates. The course offerings provide an immersion opportunity in a resource-dependent community facing economic transition, population decline, increasing local control of natural resources, and new decision-making frameworks.

British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association

The British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BC AMTA) works with mining companies to align their training opportunities with the jobs that are in highest demand. BC AMTA provides opportunities for Aboriginals at every level, from tutoring for those who are working on skills upgrading, to certificates for individuals looking for mining employment or those looking to expand their opportunities and knowledge in the industry.  Those looking to become a student at BC AMTA can learn more online about their programs and services, different jobs in the mining industry, and opportunities in the province.

Aboriginal Skills Group

The Aboriginal Skills Group is a non-profit partnership dedicated to increasing Aboriginal employment in strategic markets. The society collaborates with First Nations communities, Métis Provincial Council and industry and training institutions. The Aboriginal Skills Group trains and certifies Aboriginals with the knowledge, experience and qualification that industries need. Training is available in the categories of heavy equipment operation, warehousing, independent power plant operations, chef training, essential skills, and Red Seal trades apprenticeships in a variety of trades.