Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Your Choice Homes partner on construction training for Indigenous youth as part of the Youth Employment Strategy

The organizations are partnering on training to support Indigenous youth through empowerment and Truth and Reconciliation on their journey to apprenticeship

November 28, 2018 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic is partnering with Your Choice Homes (YCHomes) to provide training opportunities for Indigenous high school students. Sask Polytech’s School of Construction is providing online training materials for Indigenous youth as part of YCHomes high school practical arts program. Through this program, students earn high school credit and hours towards their apprenticeship training should they choose to continue.

YCHomes works with high school youth in First Nations’ communities to build homes. Students learn about jobsite safety and receive training for WHMIS, Safety Construction Orientation Training (SCOT®), fall protection and first aid. YCHomes provides students with hands-on experience, a jobsite trailer, safety equipment and tools. All homes are certified upon completion. 

“YCHomes is a great program for Indigenous youth and is making a positive impact in many First Nations communities. Sask Polytech is excited to collaborate with YCHomes to provide training to Indigenous youth and introduce them to a career in construction,” says Paul Carter, dean for the Schools of Construction and Transportation. “This training will provide construction and life skills for students and boost their self-confidence to continue with post-secondary education.” 

“This high school program creates pride, instills confidence and encourages First Nations youth,” says Jay Noel, responsible for business development at YCHomes. “We turn blueprints into curriculums and transform job sites into classrooms. This program also keeps housing dollars in the community to support the local economy. We are excited to team up with Sask Polytech to provide Construction Worker 101 and 202 training online for our students.” 

Both Sask Polytech and YCHomes have previously signed memorandum of understandings with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to set a framework to promote the Inherent and Treaty Right to Education for First Nations students and implement the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. These MOUs express shared interests and desired outcomes, including fostering economic, cultural and social development and increasing accessibility for Indigenous students to post-secondary education. 

About Saskatchewan Polytechnic: Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student needs, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. 

About Your Choice Homes: Turning blueprints into curriculums, and transforming job sites into classrooms. YCHomes is an educator that maximizes opportunities for First Nations. YCHomes partners with the community to create a program that best suits their needs. Once the Band office decides on the build, the YCHomes education department figures out a schedule and the amount of Practical Art credits assigned. Students are enrolled in Youth Apprenticeship and upon completion they have future hours towards their trades’ ticket if they choose to carry on in the career.