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GDI Client Enjoys Working at the New Riders Home

Aug 6, 2015

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Robin Scott McLean fondly remembers that ever since he was a little kid, he has always wanted to work in the trades, not just as a labourer, but as a skilled tradesperson. So when he was placed with Coram Construction in Regina through the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project, Robin had mixed feelings. He finally had the opportunity to learn a trade of his choice, carpentry, while earning a living. However, being his first time at a construction site, Robin did not know what to expect.


Robin’s transition was made easier by what Ian Knibbs, the District Manager at Coram Construction and the 2013 Leadership and Mentoring Award recipient from Merit Contractors Association Saskatchewan, refers to as work shadowing program. Under the program, Coram Construction matches new workers with experienced ones to enable the former to gain a better understanding of their role, to enhance the new employee’s career development; and to improve communication within the workplace. Coram Construction has partnered with GDI to provide employment and training placements for the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project clients.


Robin heard about GDI from a friend and a few days later attended the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project open house in Saskatoon. He was so impressed that he declared his willingness to relocate to wherever apprenticeship training was available. GDI introduced him to Coram Construction who hired him. Robin remembers that when a representative of Coram Construction asked if he could move to Regina to work at the new Mosaic Stadium currently under construction, “I knew my time had come. So, I immediately started planning my move to Regina while arranging for my wife and four daughters to join me there afterwards.” His daughters are between ages two and seven years.


Robin says that through the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project, he has “been given an opportunity of a lifetime.” He states that he is “very happy and fortunate to work on the biggest construction site” he has ever seen.


Robin was recently indentured with the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Commission as a Year I Apprentice Carpenter. Regarding his future plans, Robin says, “I am in this program until I get my journeyperson certification. I would like to someday own a construction company, be self-employed, and employ others.” Robin works closely with Shanna Morrison, Employment Counselor at the GDI Training and Employment, who he says “offers him encouragement and is always checking to make sure that everything is going well.” Robin says, “thank you GDI for the opportunity. I work 50 hours a week and I love it!” His secret to success is, “work hard, keep time, (and) ask if you do not know.”

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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