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Helping Indigenous people in Nunavut gain vital job skills and experience

by ahnationtalk on November 14, 2017463 Views

November 14, 2017 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

Indigenous peoples represent the youngest and fastest-growing segment of Canada’s population. The Government of Canada, Indigenous communities and other partners need to work together to remove barriers to employment and ensure Indigenous youth get the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in today’s workforce.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada will be investing approximately $8 million in funding for a project under the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) to break down barriers to employment for Indigenous people in Nunavut.

The Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership (QSTEP) will provide work readiness and employment training to 360 Indigenous participants, including women in Nunavut. As part of this project, which is delivered by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), participants will be able to transfer skills obtained through classroom training and work placements in the trades, such as heavy equipment operator and labourer, to other sectors.

The SPF supports partnerships between Indigenous organizations and training institutions, community organizations, local business and industry, to enhance skills development for Indigenous peoples. These partnership- based projects help to address a broad range of socio-economic issues facing Indigenous peoples.


“Young Indigenous people are the fastest-growing part of Canada’s population, and it benefits us all to ensure they have the skills and training they need to find good jobs. Breaking down barriers to employment will help grow our economy in a way that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Providing Inuit with the tools they need to gain access to better jobs and skills is a priority for our team. We want all Qikiqtani Inuit to have good meaningful work that challenges them, keeps them current in today’s job market and offers stability for their families.”

– P.J. Akeeagok, President, Qikiqtani Inuit Association

“Baffinland is one of the largest private employers in Nunavut and is committed to the continued employment and training of Inuit in the Qikiqtani region. The QSTEP project will help Baffinland and our partners develop new employment and skills development opportunities, exclusively for North Baffin Inuit at our Mary River Mine. These opportunities include apprenticeship and multi-skilled equipment operator programs.”

– Brian Penney, President and CEO, Baffinland Iron Mines

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 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.

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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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