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Helping Indigenous people in northwestern Ontario get skills training and work experience

by pmnationtalk on January 15, 2018330 Views

January 15, 2018   Thunder Bay, Ontario          Employment and Social Development Canada

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, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, together with Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, announced funding for a new project to help around 60 unemployed and under-employed Indigenous peoples get the skills and work experience they need to find and

Through the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF), $2.5-million will be provided to Hardy Giles Consulting to support Operation Innovation, a project delivered by in partnership with training provider Workplace Training and Safety First and industry partner LTL Contracting Ltd. The project will train participants in simulated heavy equipment operation roles and will help them gain work experience in the natural resource extraction industry. The project also includes strategies to help address the challenges Indigenous women face in securing long-term, meaningful employment in the mining, construction and forestry industries.


“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 help grow the economy and strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“By providing more opportunities and training for Indigenous people, the Government of Canada is demonstrating the importance of helping all Canadians get the skills and experience they need to help build strong communities like ours across the country and to contribute to growing the middle class.”
– Don Rusnak, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services

“Operation Innovation is breaking down barriers for Indigenous people wanting careers in mining, construction or resource development projects. Our team focuses on the workforce integration process. We act as a communication and connection mechanism, bridging the gap between Indigenous people and employers. We promote opportunity and career while connecting individuals to supports to ensure they achieve success.”
– Paul Giles, Owner, Hardy Giles Consulting

Quick Facts

  • 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 March 2017, the SPF has served more than 32,000 Indigenous clients, which included helping over 12,500 individuals get jobs in various sectors such as natural resources, trades,  health, retail and tourism, and assisting 1,650 individuals to return to school.

Associated Links


Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


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