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The BC government has announced a new centre in Fort St. John, to support immigrants looking to enter the oil and gas industry.

Minister of Energy Mines and Petrolium Resources, and local MLA, Richard Neufeld is quoted as saying the Northern BC Newcomers Integration Services Centre, or NISC, will offer employment support, settlement support, and job matching, while helping to address the labour needs in the industry.

The government also has the aim of encouraging immigrants to settle in Northern BC. It says 80 per cent of immigrants to BC currently settle in the Vancouver area, and hopes more information of the availablity of jobs would help these persuade immigrants to consider northern options.

However, in a weird twist, when we called the province today, we were told the centre actually opened about a month ago. Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petrolium spokesperson Jake Jacobs says the announcement today was just to make the opening more official, and he expects a local grande opening sometime in January or February.

The centre is located in suite 114, at 9907 99th Avenue.

With a budget of roughly $336,000 dollars a year, the centre will be operated government funding, with a $100,000 dollar contribution from industry.

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