Partnership puts Indigenous UFV, VCC culinary students on path to success

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Partnership puts Indigenous UFV, VCC culinary students on path to success

by ahnationtalk on March 11, 2020512 Views

March 11, 2020

CHILLIWACK – A partnership between Stó:lō Nation, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and University of Fraser Valley (UFV) is helping Indigenous learners get the skills they need to open doors to sustainable jobs and further training in the in-demand hospitality industry.

“I am proud to celebrate this community-driven partnership between Stó:lō Nation, Vancouver Community College and University of Fraser Valley. To me, this demonstrates reconciliation in action,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Providing students with up-to-date, industry-standard trades training is vital to building a 21st-century workforce throughout the province. We need more people from all walks of life to fuel their passion and take advantage of the training and employment opportunities in the trades, including culinary arts.”

The Province has invested $300,000 through the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships Program to fund the Stó:lō Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training (SASET) Culinary Arts program – a 12-week pre-trades training program at VCC and UFV that provides first aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, FoodSafe and SuperHost certificates, along with pre-apprenticeship training, including a work practicum placement.

“A career in the culinary arts is a lifelong endeavour where learning never stops and job satisfaction happens every day,” said Chris Monkman, culinary instructor, UFV. “We’re thankful the Province recognizes the need for partnerships like this, as well as the need for state-of-the-art training equipment and spaces. This partnership really is a win-win.”

An additional $200,000 in capital funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is also being invested at UFV to build a new test kitchen space and provide equipment for the program. The project is underway at the Chilliwack campus where Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, made the announcement on behalf of Mark.

“I’m proud to be a part of a government that’s taking action to ensure students have access to affordable education and skills training,” said Beare. “This partnership between UFV, VCC and the Stó:lō Nation is giving these students the hands-on training and experience they need to pursue a good career in the trades.”

Skills training that is culturally sensitive and relevant for Indigenous peoples helps meet the Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The SASET Culinary Arts program has been delivered to more than 140 students and has had positive impacts. At the course’s end, more than three-quarters of its students were employed or enrolled in further education.


Jimmy McKay, SASET student, UFV –

“This course and our instructor really opened up my eyes to the culinary world, and I feel like myself when I cook and bake. I’m thankful for being able to be a part of this. I am happy to have met ‘Chef’ and to have this program at UFV. I will be enrolling in the professional cook Level 1 program in August 2020!”

Quick Facts:

  • The 2019 Labour Market Outlook indicates that by 2029, B.C. should expect close to 73,000 job openings in the trades.
  • That includes more than 7,828 job openings for cooks in the next decade in B.C.’s Mainland and Southwest regions.
  • In 2019, the Province invested $3.1 million in trades and technical equipment at 19 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C., including $160,000 at VCC where the SASET Culinary Arts Program is offered.

Learn More:

Stó:lō Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training:

Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships Program:


Sean Leslie
Communications Director
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
250 356-8485

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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