Assiniboine Community College (ACC) in Brandon, Man. is launching a tuition-free program for off-reserve Indigenous students interested in becoming agriculture equipment operators.

ACC has partnered with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) to deliver the 13-week program, which is open to 15 students and will start in February at the college’s North Hill Campus in Brandon.

“This partnership is an important step in helping to meet an industry need and in providing learners, who may otherwise not have had the opportunity, with a chance to enrol in a program that offers a gateway to great job potential,” says Kevin Poirier, dean of ACC’s School of Trades. “I’m pleased to welcome the support of CAP to help ensure that there are trained people who can step into areas of need so that the growing agricultural sector can reach its full potential.”

“Projected labour market shortages in this sector overall are significant,” notes Sarah Mitchell with CAP, “and CAP is happy to support an industry that is in need of skilled workers. CAP wishes every client in the AEO program the best of luck and a long and fulfilling career!”

ACC says the program will include an 80-hour paid work placement, as well as regular tours, workshops, and events at nearby commercial operations.

“Producers across Manitoba are facing serious labour challenges and struggle to hire employees with the necessary skills to work on a farm,” Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Bill Campbell points out. “KAP was pleased to help develop the program and provide industry input to align the curriculum with agricultural labour needs.”

For more info, potential students can visit

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