EEL GROUND (GNB) – A new welding station will offer more training opportunities to middle and high school students in the Eel Ground First Nation community.

“Skilled trades are an important sector of the economy and we are proud to partner with the CWB Welding Foundation and Eel Ground First Nation to offer more training opportunities,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “Improving access and exposure to trades is one of the objectives of the 10-year education plan and this welding station will do just that.”

Harris spoke on behalf of Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Office of First Nation Education to fund a new welding station in Eel Ground First Nation,” said Andrew Bartlett, acting executive director, CWB Welding Foundation. “This equipment will be utilized to encourage the exploration and education of surrounding youth in the welding field. By creating new opportunities, community members can advance their welding skills and gain valuable career insights.”

The welding station at Eel Ground will provide students in related courses the opportunity to learn through hands-on practice. It will also provide an opportunity for students attending Natoaganeg School to try a trade in middle school before transitioning to high school. It will also be made available to adult learners to help them improve their skills for the job market as well as to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and other community members.

“The Council of the Natoaganeg First Nation at Eel Ground and I are very pleased to have this wonderful opportunity to partner with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Canadian Welding Association to bring such a valuable training asset to our First Nation community,” said Eel Ground First Nation Chief George Ginnish. “First Nations have the fastest-growing youth population in all of Canada and it is critical we provide a spectrum of training and employment choices for our youth.”

The government’s 10-year education plans aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to create lifelong learners, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.