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Aboriginal Skills Navigator Helping First Nations Get Job Ready

Aboriginal Skills Navigator Helping First Nations Get Job Ready – Rochelle Saddleman is dedicated to ensuring more First Nations members get the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing work environment.

As co-ordinator of the new Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators project, Rochelle manages a team of seven Navigators located throughout B.C. The Navigators are helping First Nations members get job-ready with the necessary skills to take advantage of new employment opportunities in the emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.

Through the development of B.C.’s LNG sector, First Nations, rural and remote communities across northern and eastern British Columbia will benefit directly from the creation of well-paying jobs close to home.

“The development of LNG has the potential to create thousands of jobs in a range of occupations,” says Rochelle. “Our goal is to help more First Nations members access those jobs and enjoy the benefits they will provide for themselves and their communities.”

Launched in January 2015, the Navigators project helps Aboriginal people in B.C. access skills training and related job opportunities. The Navigators liaise with First Nations communities, training organizations and industry to link skills training directly with new jobs. They also work with unemployed community members to assist them in getting them job-ready and make recommendations on how to close skills gaps at the community level.

The federal government is providing $3.5 million over the next three years to the New Relationship Trust which manages the program. In conjunction with B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, Rochelle and the other Navigators will provide services for nearly 50 First Nations communities annually.

Born and raised in Vernon, Rochelle is a member of the Okanagan First Nation and holds a degree in business administration from Okanagan College, specializing in management and human resources.

Working at the provincial level, Rochelle coordinates all communications and oversees the Navigators’ work activities in the field.

“The communities we serve view the Navigators as valuable support people who work directly with First Nations to improve quality of life, build job skills and experience, and increase training opportunities designed to lead their members to employment,” says Rochelle.

Based in Vancouver, Rochelle travels extensively to meet with the Navigators as they operate throughout province. Together with First Nation communities, industry, training providers and government, she and her team assist with the coordination of skills training and employment opportunities for First Nations community members.

“It’s been my dream to work with First Nations on a provincial level,” says Rochelle, “And it’s amazing to see the positive response the Navigators are receiving as we work one-on-one with communities to develop skills training solutions.”

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a<center>ME News - Connecting You To World News, Jobs And Content From Aroland First Nation Within the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Territory in Treaty 9