September 14, 2007
Refugees and other international students enroll in co-operative trades program in Fairview
Six students from around the world, including some refugees, are enrolled in a co-operative trades program in Fairview. The students, who start classes on Monday, Sept. 17th, hail from Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The 19-week program allows students to get an overview of various trades in Canada - such as welding, carpentry, mechanics, and electrician - and allows them to obtain various certifications like WHIMIS. The students will spend seven weeks in class and labs, then 12 weeks in work placements in rural communities. Some of the students in the program were engineers or electricians in their home countries. Students were accepted into this program because they were either unemployed or underemployed. The goal of the program is to bring the students’ paperwork standards up to Canadian standards so they can practice their trades in Canada. It is hoped many of these students will find jobs in rural communities, which are also experiencing a skilled labour shortage in the trades areas.
This co-operative trades program will run in Fairview again in January. So far, 19 students have already enrolled in the program, which was co-ordinated by NAIT and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
To line up an interview for this story, please call Darwin Eckstrom, NAIT’s Dean of Rural Development, at 780-835-8212 on his office line. You can also contact Fran McGuire, a Curriculum Innovation Consultant at the Fairview campus, at 780-835-6667.