The newly signed agreement marks the start of the process to add Class 5 Power Engineering courses to Great Plains College current Adult Basic Education offerings. The new pathway program will allow students to complete their grade 12 education, while also completing the courses and steam-time requirements needed to write the Class Five Power Engineering exam and obtain a Fifth Class Power Engineering license. The course materials for the two credit courses, Power Engineering 20L and 30L, are being provided from Prairie South School Division - Prairie South Virtual School, who has seen tremendous success by students participating in the online offering.
“One of the priorities in our Adult Basic Education programs is to provide students with quality education, workplace skills and industry connections for employment opportunities, so this new program really fits the bill for all of those elements,” said David Keast, President & CEO at Great Plains College. “Our Maple Creek Program Centre student body is approximately 90 per cent Indigenous, many from Nekaneet First Nation, so we are proud to provide a pathway for more Indigenous students to complete their Grade 12 while taking their first steps in a power engineering career.”
The proposed program will be open to the college’s Adult Basic Education students and will include two credit courses delivered through a combination of online and in-class learning, safety ticket acquisition and two weekends of hands-on experience: one in SaskPower’s mobile power engineering lab and one at SaskPower’s Chinook Power Station.
“SaskPower is committed to Indigenous employment and is always looking for new ways to provide education, training and employment opportunities for our Indigenous partners,” said Howard Matthews, Vice President of Power Production with SaskPower. “We’ve been working with Nekaneet First Nation for quite some time and we are proud to be involved in this new partnership that will assist students in earning their qualifying steam time for a Class Five Power Engineering license through the course-required hands-on experience.
“In today’s world, young people need a bit of a push to be good citizens,” explained Nekaneet First Nation Chief Alvin Francis. “My hope is that once our youth are trained and employed in this field, they will become role models for others to follow.”
In the picture (L to R): Howard Matthews (Vice President of Power Production with SaskPower), David Keast (President & CEO at Great Plains College), Nekaneet First Nation Chief Alvin Francis, Jeff Boulton (5th Class Power Engineering Instructor and Principal of Prairie South Virtual School).