Twelve students from eight First Nations across east-central Saskatchewan are ready to join the job market after a training course at Pasqua First Nation.
Parkland College recently wrapped up the seven-week Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program. The Saskatchewan Polytechnic program trains students for careers in construction, mining, oil and gas, and other industries.
At Pasqua First Nation, students operated two pieces of equipment provided by Redhead Equipment of Regina, including graders, excavators, dozers, rock trucks, skid steers, and loaders. The program also included several safety certifications and a week of employment transition training, which provides students with resume writing techniques, interview skills, and job search tips.
The hands-on component of the program allowed the students to complete two road projects for the Pasqua First Nation band.
“Eight students had perfect attendance which indicated their interest and dedication for this hands-on training,” said Parkland College program coordinator Larry Pearen. “Our two experienced instructors knew how to engage each student in the program.”
Sask Polytech Continuing Education Consultant Jim Marcia stated that his visit to the Parkland College program was the highlight of all his program visits this construction season. He was very pleased with the quality of the instructors, coordination, and partnership Sask Polytech has with Parkland College.
For the students, this short program will have a long-term impact.
“This program gives us a chance to gain more knowledge in heavy equipment machinery. We now have more opportunities in a career in which I am interested,” said Fern Starr of Pasqua First Nation.
John Thomson of Carry the Kettle First Nation called his training a privilege. “This program has helped me learn how to operate heavy equipment safely and taught me most of what I need to know about construction and road building. The HEO program has also boosted my confidence and self-esteem. The instructors of the course have been a big help.”
The Heavy Equipment Operator program was sponsored by CP Rail, Enbridge, and Pasqua First Nation.
About Parkland College:
Parkland College strives to help students in East Central Saskatchewan achieve their goals and build the foundation for successful careers. Students can choose from a wide array of educational options, including university degrees, skills training diplomas and certificates, trades training, high school upgrading, safety training, and corporate/professional development. Parkland College is a learner-centered organization and is proud to be one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2016.