UCW recently began its Essential Skills courses with the Squamish Nation. These courses are a requirement for the Squamish Nation people interested in entering a trade apprenticeship. There are nine essential skills: reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking and computer use. The courses offered cover predominately reading, document use, numeracy and writing.

“These are important skills used every day in the community and the workplace, in different forms and at different levels of complexity,” said Essential Skills Program Coordinator and Head Instructor of UCW University Access Courses Carel Schoch. “These courses are a part the training and are valuable skills for learning, work and life.”

In March UCW facilitated a one-week pilot course at the Native Education College in Vancouver and the most recent course is the first to be run by UCW at the Squamish Nation Employment and Training Centre in North Vancouver. Courses run for two, four or six weeks and finish with an essential skills exam called TOWES, which is administered by Bow Valley College and invigilated by UCW locally.

UCW’s partnership with the Squamish Nation was formed last year with the initiation of the Emily Baker Scholarship for First Nations students.