Eleven Siksika residents are benefiting from specialized career training thanks to their participation in the Security Guard and Workplace Essential Skills Training program. A unique partnership between Siksika Employment and Training Services (SETS) and Lethbridge College’s LC Extension, the six-week program provided interested individuals an opportunity to become a certified security guard in Alberta, while developing additional employability skills.
All training took place earlier this year in Siksika Nation and not only prepared participants for the Security Services Investigators Act (SSIA) Provincial Examination and the opportunity to become a certified security guard in Alberta, but also provided training in areas such as CPR/AED, Mental Health First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems, and the history of policing in the Siksika Nation.
“This program is meaningful to us because it’s an example of a community coming forward with a specific need,” says Jason Donkersgoed, Director, LC Extension. “We were then able to work collaboratively with Siksika Employment and Training Services to build something really interesting that meets that need and provides a benefit to the Siksika Nation. We were able to supplement the mandated security training with additional skills that will benefit participants in their lives and careers.”
After completing the program, all 11 participants wrote and passed the SSIA Provincial Examination, earning a class average of 90 per cent. Now certified, they can work as security guards in Alberta and have a credential that is transferable to other provinces. Security guard training can also serve as a pathway to other careers in the justice field, and participants were provided with information about the college’s School of Justice Studies.
“Each student came to the security course with unique skills and interests and were eager to acquire a deeper understanding of the security program,” says Jen Magnus, an instructor in the Custom Security Guard Training Program. “I enjoyed working with each student to further their career development through the program. The goal-setting portion of the program proved effective as each student worked on setting personal and professional goals to ensure success in the security industry.”
SETS provides career building opportunities to Siksika Nation members, including career planning, employment and training, as well as job placement. The service seeks to secure job opportunities for Siksika citizens through employment arrangements and partnerships with industry employers.
“SETS’ vision is for a skilled workforce with a mission to provide the necessary resources and skills to become ready, willing and able to successfully enter the workforce,” says Barry Duck Chief, SETS program coordinator.
LC Extension offers and develops courses, microcredentials and other custom-training options for businesses of all sizes. Cavendish Farms, the City of Lethbridge, Blood Tribe Employment and Skills Training, McCain Foods, and the Canadian Mental Health Association are among the organizations that have partnered with the college to provide training to their employees.