Hundreds of First Nations high school students from throughout the B.C. Interior will converge on Okanagan College on Thursday, May 5 to explore a vast array of post-secondary and employment opportunities.
The 22nd annual Aboriginal Career Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on KLO Road. The event is a partnership between Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan, the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, and Westbank First Nation. Students will have a chance to connect with more than 30 exhibitors, including representatives from colleges and universities, and employers in finance, trades, agriculture, health, technology and other sectors.
“Opportunities like this are an excellent way for aboriginal students to explore their options for post-secondary, and to learn about employers’ expectations in regard to education and training,” says Okanagan College vice-president of students Charlotte Kushner.
More than 300 students are expected to attend. For schools and employers, the career fair is an opportunity to initiate connections with a key demographic for recruitment. Provincial data indicates that Aboriginal peoples are one of the fastest growing populations in B.C.
Okanagan College has witnessed significant growth in aboriginal student enrolment in recent years. In 2015, the college delivered educational programming to over 1,500 aboriginal students, more than three times the number that attended a decade prior in 2005-06.
“’Working With, and Learning From, the Indigenous Community’ is one of the five key directions for the college, as outlined in our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan,” Kushner said. “We value every opportunity like this to collaborate with local school districts, First Nation bands, aboriginal organizations and industry, to inspire and open doors to post-secondary for aboriginal students.”
Educators or school administrators interested in having students participate are requested to register in advance. To learn more and to register, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/acf.
Lunch will be provided by students and faculty from Okanagan College’s culinary arts program.