By Sarah Klein
WINNIPEG — Refugees and newcomers to Canada are receiving hands-on training in the construction sector thanks to a new program being offered at Red River College.
The Pathway Program to Construction Skills focuses on developing essential language skills, safety training and basic construction skills training in the areas of drywalling, masonry and flat-top roofing.
The first intake of the program has 20 students registered, including those from Syria, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A second intake is being planned for September with similar opportunities in Manitoba’s construction sector.
“This new program is a first in Manitoba and it will not only help our newcomer refugees develop their language and literacy skills, it will also provide them access to trades training and jobs in sectors where our partners have a need for more trained workers,” said Paul Vogt, president, Red River College.
The four-month program was developed in partnership with the Winnipeg Construction Association, Alpha Masonry, Allied Roofing, Econo Wall and Ceilings Ltd, Immigrant Centre, Manitoba Start and the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations. It was part of the community response to supporting new refugees who arrived in Manitoba within the past year.
The province is funding $225,000 towards the program.