Photo above: President Kent Anderson is pictured above with Michael Rodyniuk, President & CEO of Canadian North Airlines.
OTTERBURNE, MB – Today, we held a press conference on the Otterburne campus to announce that Providence has entered into an agreement with Canadian North to provide Inuit students with training to become pilots.
Canadian North is an Inuit-owned airline committed to supporting Inuit and Indigenous economic self-reliance and growth by providing excellent career opportunities within the aviation industry. The global air transportation system is currently challenged by a critical shortage of well-trained pilots. The vast region Canadian North serves across northern Canada and the Arctic is particularly vulnerable because of its sparse population compared to southern Canada. Less than 2% of the Canadian population is spread across 40% of its northern land mass. Almost all of the northern communities Canadian North serves have no road or rail access and limited seasonal sealift service, so its flights enable the movement of people, food and other crucial goods as well as access to medical care and government services – things most other Canadians take for granted.
This innovative new partnership between Providence and Canadian North will help to ensure skilled Inuit pilots are trained and ready to provide essential passenger and cargo service to communities throughout Inuit Nunagat. Canadian North will work with Providence to identify and select high-potential Inuit students for this training program. Canadian North will also provide a standing offer of employment for students who are successful in their studies and meet the regulatory requirements for their airline.
“We are very excited about this announcement and the potential of this partnership with Providence University College,” says Shelly De Caria, Associate Vice President, Sales and Community Investment, Canadian North “This program will provide Inuit with an opportunity to not only train and become pilots, but upon graduation they will have guaranteed employment serving their own communities, families and friends by flying for Canadian North.”
The new program will focus on training local professionals from the North to serve the North. Pilots will be identified and trained through Providence’s aviation program in cooperation with Harv’s Air in Steinbach, a close partnership that has spanned almost 40 years. These new program offerings will meet the standard of the IATPL (Integrated Airline Transport Pilots License) through either a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation or a double major in Aviation and Business Administration. This will provide the workforce with well-trained Inuit management professionals, ready to be leaders in aviation.
“Providence is aware of the shortage of pilots available to airlines, and the need for a reliable supply of new pilots. We are looking forward to our new partnership with Canadian North to deliver local professionals from the north to serve the north,” says Vice President of External Relations, Anna Mondor.
Providence President, Kent Anderson added that, “Providence is pleased to extend its legacy of excellence in pilot education in service to Canadian North and the Inuit communities it serves. We believe we can be part of the solution to Canada’s chronic pilot shortage to enhance the lives of people in the far north.”