Province Looking for Aboriginal Mechanics

Friday, December 12, 2003 at 15:46



A new partnership has been struck between Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal communities and the province’s transportation department.


Highways minister Mark Wartman announced yesterday that First Nations and Metis people wanting to become heavy duty mechanics will be eligible to undertake a training program, while having the majority of costs paid for them.


Wartman says that 80 percent of the mechanical staff at fleet services will be retired over the next ten years – and that’s why they need new people to enter the trade.


A band member from Manitoba’s Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas says he’s grateful for the chance to become a heavy duty mechanic with Saskatchewan Highways.


Laird Goulet believes the initiative could eventually lead to more job postings for young Cree workers like himself that are looking to establish solid careers.


It’s estimated that fifty percent of the labour force in the province will be of Aboriginal descent by the year 2020.


Wartman says that’s why projects like this one are desperately needed now, rather than later.