News & Insights

Creating Careers through Woodfibre LNG’s Operator Training Program


Jun 25, 2024

According to the recent census of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, many Squamish Nation youth are concerned about attaining their educational and career goals. Approximately 44 percent face challenges with essential living expenses while attending school, while 32 percent express worries regarding the costs associated with tuition and purchasing textbooks.

To help maximize training and employment opportunities with the Squamish Nation, Woodfibre LNG has partnered with the Nation to develop its Operator Training Program – a unique opportunity for Squamish Nation members interested in a career with Woodfibre LNG to meet program entry criteria – and receive career training without the financial and other barriers associated with many post-secondary programs. Through this program, 15 Indigenous students, are participating in a fully funded pathway that provides academic training, hands-on experience, and the opportunity for a rewarding career as a Process Operator at the Woodfibre LNG facility. Among these students, 11 are members of the Squamish Nation (including three women), 2 are relatives of Squamish Nation members and have been living in the community since they were young, and 2 are members of other First Nations. Throughout the program, participants receive a training allowance (including travel and childcare allowances for those eligible), supporting financial stability and allowing focus on their studies.

 The program was developed in collaboration with the Squamish Nation (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) Training and Trades Centre and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). It spans two years, equipping participants with the skills and certifications necessary for the role of Process Operator, and to be responsible for safe and reliable plant operation by overseeing equipment, processes, and personnel within and around the LNG facility.

“Our Operator Training Program is all about giving Indigenous candidates a great career opportunity by removing hurdles that could come between them and the jobs and training they aspire to access. By working with our partners at the Training and Trades Centre and BCIT and offering clear paths to success, we’re not just teaching skills, we’re helping our future team feel like they belong and can achieve great things.”, said Sheryl Rivers, Indigenous Workforce Development Manager at Woodfibre LNG.

Woodfibre LNG will fully fund this program, providing comprehensive support for tuition, training, childcare, materials, meals, and travel expenses. This investment will help cover most education and living expenses to assist participants in being able to focus on their training.

Clear pathway to a career as a Process Operator

The program has three phases, each designed to equip participants with the knowledge and expertise they will need to thrive in operational roles within the Woodfibre LNG project:

  • Operator Trainee Readiness Program (13 weeks): Based at the Squamish Nation Training and Trades Centre, this phase focuses on preparing candidates for the math and science aspects of the entry exam necessary to proceed into the Power Engineering phase of the program.
  • Power Engineering Phase (37 weeks): Conducted at the Squamish Nation Training and Trades Centre and BCIT’s Burnaby campus, this phase includes an introduction to the Woodfibre LNG Project, a 30-week Power Engineering Program, and an Environmental Operators Certification Program. All candidates graduating from this phase will earn their 4th  Class Power Engineering Certificate and will be offered a full-time role with Woodfibre LNG as a Trainee Operator.
  • Woodfibre LNG Specifics Phase (52 weeks): The final year of the traineeship concentrates on site and company-specific training, preparing participants for operational roles.

Through the Operator Training Program, Woodfibre LNG is working to develop future operations staff from the Squamish Nation and other Indigenous Nations. By offering structured pathways to career advancement, the program fosters inclusivity and an attainable route to a rewarding career in Power Engineering for Indigenous peoples. As participants embark on this journey, they do so equipped with the tools and opportunities essential for success at Woodfibre LNG and in today’s workforce.