Trades and Skills Development

British Columbia has some of the best industry training in the world.


First Logger Program

FIRST Logger is a program designed by the Central Interior Logging Association. FIRST Logger assists eligible participants with training, and provides job placement opportunities. The program is available in Prince George, the Okanagan/Kootenays, and North/Northwest regions, and is free to the users. Training is available for careers as a log truck driver and a variety of heavy equipment operator positions including: buncher operator; excavator operator; processor operator; loader operator; bull dozer operator; and skidder operator.

The FIRST Logger website has contact information for those interested in participating in the program or those who wish to provide placement opportunities for individuals who undergo the program.

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 and Red Seal apprenticeships in a variety of trades.

University of Northern British Columbia

The University of Northern British Columbia’s South Central Campus in Quesnel offers a wide variety of certificates and degrees including Silviculture Surveyor Assessor Chainsaw Safety, ATV safety, Introduction to GPS, and Wildlife Danger Tree Assessor training, as well as degrees in Forest Ecology and Management, Natural Resources Planning, Energy Specialization, Geography, Environmental Studies, and a variety of Business degrees.

British Columbia Construction Association

The Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) was originally launched in 2006 to assist foreign trained skilled workers obtain employment in the Construction Industry where there was a lack of available workers.  This first partnership between the British Columbia Construction Association and the Construction Sector Council laid the ground work for what has become an extremely successful employment program with a wide range of offerings within the province of British Columbia.

Since that first project, the STEP Network has grown to include employment programs that serve all Canadian residents wanting a career in any of the over 90 Industry Training Authority recognized trades.

Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University has seven campuses, including its main campus in Kamloops, and a myriad of regional campuses throughout Ashcroft, Clearwater, Barriere, Lytton, and Cache Creek. The regional campuses offer a wide range of continuing studies for adult based education, agriculture and horticulture, business and office skills, computing, first aid, general interest, health and safety, languages, professional development, and trades and technology; additionally, students can also start their certificate, degree, and trades programs at these campuses. The Williams Lake campus is more extensive and also offers full diploma and certificate programs, nursing and health care education, and full trades and technology programs.

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is B.C.’s Aboriginal public post-secondary institute. NVIT  was formed as a private institute in 1983 by the founding bands of Coldwater, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola Bands. Working from a basement in the downtown core of Merritt, three instructors taught thirteen students the basics of what is now our Environmental Resource Technology program. The program was taught in an environment that promoted traditional ways and fostered student success, a vision that sticks with NVIT today. Gradually building its program offerings to address Aboriginal community needs such as health care, economic development and child care with programs like Health Care AssistantBusiness Administration and Aboriginal Early Childhood Education, NVIT became and still remains a unique and important public post-secondary institute in Canada.

Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society

The Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society strives to identify, develop, implement and assist Aboriginals with the attainment of employment, training and education programs responsive to the current and future requirements of Aboriginal people, Aboriginal bands, Aboriginal organizations and Aboriginal individuals. Programs are available for bands, organizations, businesses and aboriginal individuals.

Aboriginal Business & Entrepreneurship Skills Training

Aboriginal Business & Entrepreneurship Skills Training (BEST) is a free training series that helps to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of people, communities, and organizations. Aboriginal BEST includes twelve training sessions and one-on-one business counseling. Participants meet guest speakers, identify viable business ideas, determine their feasibility, and take steps to start or grow their own businesses. Learn to conduct market research, write business plans, and explore financing options on your journey to self-employment success!

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.

Trades Training BC

Trades Training BC is a consortium of 14 public post-secondary educational institutions created to promote trades training in British Columbia. Trades Training BC’s primary function is to encourage students and others considering career retraining to explore trades as a viable career option. Additionally, Trades Training BC acts as an advocate for the member institutions in their communication with the public, government, businesses and other stakeholders. is a portal to provide information and direct students and employers to apprenticeship, foundation, vocational and youth programs offered at one of the 14 member institutions throughout B.C.

Southern Interior Construction Association

SICA offers a wide range of courses to improve or develop skills that relate to the Construction Industry. Skill development courses include building information modeling, building supervisors for tomorrow, carpentry training, civil estimating, construction 101, construction document reading, cranesafe assessment prep, estimating, LEED for contractors courses, project management tools & techniques, and others.

First Nations Agricultural Association

FNAA believes that agriculture is the cornerstone of economic development for all nations.

First Nations Agricultural Association (FNAA) assists in the start-up promotion and sustainability of Aboriginal agri-businesses in British Columbia by:

  • Assisting Aboriginal communities and producers to build capacity and develop their agriculture, agri-food, or traditional agricultural based businesses through the provision of culturally appropriate assistance, marketing, education, and financial products and services.
  • Promoting and advocating on behalf of Aboriginal agriculture in British Columbia.
  • FNAA is a leader in the development of sustainable, culturally respectful, Aboriginal agriculture in British Columbia. We positively and powerfully contribute to the creation of vibrant local economies, strong Aboriginal agricultural business and healthy communities.