Does your job give you the “blahs”? Are you thinking about changing careers? Have you ever aspired to learn a trade but didn’t know where to start? If you have answered yes to any or all three of these questions, the Sabtuan Regional Vocational Training Centre in Waswanipi may have an answer for you.

Luc Colette is the education consultant for the vocational centre, “Everything is new here,” says Collette, “it’s a great organization and we have all new equipment.”

The centre opened up back in 2002 and in a new building finished last year offers up a whole bevy of trade programs. In the past they have offered carpentry, light vehicle mechanics, plumbing and heating, hairdressing, computer support and home care assistant programs. In September two more programs are opening up, professional cooking and secretarial studies.

To be eligible for the trade programs offered at the centre, prospective students must have a minimum of Secondary IV or an equivalent for admission to most of these programs. You also need to be a Cree beneficiary. If that is the case, funding is also provided, notes Colette. “We have what are called training allowances that come from the government and they are available through Cree Human Resources Development.”

This brand-spanking-new facility has everything one would need to get the education they want. Though the school can not hold more than 100 students, at one time, for 50 of those students housing is provided. “Some of our students are adults and some of which have dependents or spouses,” says Colette.

With this in mind, the school has created various types of dwellings made to fit different individuals’ needs. There are single-student units, married-couple units and single-family units that can house two adults and two children. “It’s great here,” says Colette. “The students are housed and fed because we provide meals for them, too.”

The other half of the school is comprised of local students from Waswanipi.

The two most popular programs at the vocational centre at the moment are, according to Colette, secretarial studies and professional cooking. “Secretarial studies are very popular because the Cree School Board is growing so there is going to be a large demand on this level.”

Professional cooking is also popular because of its job prospects. “There are community centres, public residences and elder residences that are in need of cooks. There is a large demand for cooks in various Cree communities. We are even thinking about integrating some traditional cultural cooking.”

Whether you are bored with what you are presently doing, have just had a major life change or are just finishing up school and are preparing for the future, Waswanipi’s vocational training centre has plenty to offer to just about anyone. “We even have some students here that are 40 years old and it’s open to everyone in the nine communities,” enthuses Colette.

For more information or to print out a registration form, go to: or call (819) 753-4040 local or 1-866-921-4040 toll free.