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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, September 4, 2009—The Government of Canada announced its newest commitment to Aboriginal people through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today.“The Government of Canada supports Aboriginal people taking full advantage of economic opportunities,” said Minister Finley. “The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy will increase participation in the Canadian economy, ensuring that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people are engaged in sustainable, meaningful employment.”
ASETS is an important element of the federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development and will help Aboriginal people receive the training and skills they need, both now and for the long term. ASETS will focus on three strategic priorities, including supporting demand-driven skills development, fostering partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and territories, and putting emphasis on accountability and results.
ASETS will replace the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy and will be put in place April 2010.
The Government of Canada is holding informal meetings with partners across the country this fall to continue a dialogue about how ASETS will build a strong and vibrant Aboriginal workforce as a key component of the Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.
Also, the Government’s Economic Action Plan created more and better opportunities for Aboriginal workers through skills development and training. Support for Aboriginal labour market programs includes $100 million for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership and $75 million for the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund.
More information is available on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Web site at www.hrsdc.gc.ca
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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
For further information (media only):
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Aboriginal labour-market related Economic Action Plan initiatives
Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government is investing $75 million in new funding over two years to establish the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF).
The ASTSIF will support short-term, focused initiatives designed to help Aboriginal people get the specific skills they require to benefit from economic opportunities, including those generated by the federal stimulus package.
ASTSIF projects will strengthen partnerships between Aboriginal organizations and employers to help Aboriginal people gain the skills they need for the labour market today and for the long term. It will also support greater investments in training for individuals who face barriers to employment, such as low literacy and a lack of essential skills for employment.
Funded projects will be announced this fall. Projects are funded for a maximum of 18 months, and all projects must end on March 31, 2011.
The Government is also continuing its commitment to enhancing the availability of training by investing an additional $100 million over three years in the nationwide Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program. This investment will support up to 25 new ASEP projects, which could result in up to 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal people across the country.
Launched in 2003, the ASEP program is designed to maximize training and job opportunities in major economic development projects across Canada. It does this by meeting employers’ needs and labour market demands for skilled workers.
ASEP’s ultimate success is contingent on the strong partnerships between Aboriginal groups, the private sector, federal, provincial and/or territorial governments, labour, and educational institutions. Since the program’s inception, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has successfully delivered programming with over 90 partners.
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