A strong economy depends on a strong middle class where everybody has a real and fair chance to succeed. Despite being the fastest growing segment of the country’s population, Indigenous peoples continue to be underrepresented in Canada’s workforce.
That’s why today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced an investment of $6,952,418 under the Skills Partnership Fund (SPF), which encourages Indigenous organizations to form partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to provide skills training that contributes to long-term, meaningful employment for Indigenous people.
This funding will help 508 under or unemployed Indigenous peoples gain skills training in a uniquely adaptive training model that will occur in 4 different communities within the Tłı̨chǫ region.
In addition, as announced in Budget 2018, the Government is investing in Indigenous people, removing barriers to their success and supporting the skills, high-quality education and resources they need to fully participate in the economy and strengthen their communities. That’s why the Government is investing $2 billion over five years and over $400 million per year ongoing to create a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program that will help address employment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
“Breaking down barriers to employment for Indigenous people will ensure that everyone has a real and fair chance at success. Helping Indigenous people get the skills and training they need to find good jobs will grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“Investments like this from the Skills and Partnership Program will make a real difference in employing and empowering many people in the Tłı̨chǫ communities. The importance of helping people get the skills and experience they need to help build strong communities and contribute to their families is a priority.”
– Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories
“Canada’s support of our Skill’s Development program shows an ongoing commitment to build the capacity of Tłı̨chǫ Citizens and enable participation in the economy of the Tłı̨chǫ region, NWT and Canada. This funding enables Tłı̨chǫ Government to deliver a three-year program of integrated, harmonized, training-to-employment services for Tłı̨chǫ Citizens in Behchokǫ̀, Whatı̀, Gamètı̀, and Wekweètı̀.”
– George Mackenzie, Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief
– Indigenous people in Canada represent the youngest and fastest-growing segment of the country’s population. Over the next decade, 400,000 Indigenous youth will be preparing to enter the workforce.
– The SPF receives $50 million in funding per year and to date has leveraged approximately $250 million (cash and in-kind) from partnerships since its inception.
– From April 2010 to December 2017, the SPF has served more than 33,700 Indigenous clients, which included helping over 12,700 individuals get jobs in various sectors such as natural resources, trades, health, retail and tourism, and assisting 1,657 individuals to return to school.