CNC to help Babine workers gain skills

Babine Forest Products workers will have an opportunity to gain skills for apprenticeships for free at CNC’s Burns Lake campus, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

The 19-week training program is slated to begin at the end of January and will include: essential skills, job readiness skills and several industry certifications. Eligible workers will also be exposed to three trades - Heavy Duty Mechanics, Industrial Mechanic/Millwright and Construction Craft.

“CNC is pleased to be a part of the recovery from the Babine mill tragedy. This program will give people in the area the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to re-enter the workforce and prepare for a career in the trades,” said Scott Zayac, CNC Associate Regional Director.Participants will receive funded training, as well as training allowances and other supports.

The ITA is supporting this initiative through funding under the Canada British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA).

Hampton Affiliates recently announced they will be rebuilding Babine Forest Products, which was destroyed in an explosion and fire in January 2012. The blast killed two men, Carl Charlie and Robert Luggie Jr., and injured 44 others. It is estimated there are more than 70 former employees still available for work in the community but the proposed mill will require updated skills.

“This new, modern facility will need a local, well-trained, skilled workforce so we are assisting the College to identify training that will prepare participants for employment,” said Steve Zika, Hampton Chief Executive Officer.