CTV News Vancouver Island

The B.C. government is funding dozens of training opportunities for people who are interested in the forestry industry on Vancouver Island this year.

The province is spending nearly $775,000 to provide two rounds of certification courses and forestry training through Stillwater Consulting.

During the roughly five-month program, participants will take part in 16 weeks of occupational skills training and three weeks of on-the-job work experience with local employers, followed by two weeks of job searching support.

Participants will also have the chance to complete four industry certifications, including basic chainsaw operator, basic fire suppression and safety: fire entrapment avoidance, occupational first aid: level 3, and pesticide applicator: agriculture general.

The province says that some graduates of the program have found employment as junior forestry technicians, wildland firefighters, silviculture surveyors, equipment operators and recreation trail builders.

“From timber cruising to wildlife management to forest operations, these advanced forestry skills will open doors to better opportunities and help British Columbians build the foundation for well-paying jobs and long-term success,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in a release Wednesday.

The first round of classes begins in February and ends in July. Classes for the program take place both in person and online.

The province says that there is still room for interested people to join the second intake of classes, which runs from May 17 to Oct. 8.

Anyone interested in joining is asked to contact their local WorkBC centre