Helping Indigenous people in Labrador get vital job skills and work experience

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NL- 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 Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with representatives from Vale, the Nunatsiavut government, Innu Nation, and NunatuKavut Community Council, announced a $23.6 million dollar project led by the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP). Funding approved from the federal Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) totals over $9.6 Million.

Over the course of this project, LATP will provide skills development and training-to-employment opportunities that will assist over 400 indigenous participants in Labrador to have the opportunity to work at the Vale mine site. Participants will gain skills and on-the-job training in various occupations including underground miner, apprentice trades, and mine site support and services.

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.

Quotes
"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

"Indigenous people in Newfoundland and Labrador must benefit from the development of provincial natural resources. Our government is pleased to contribute more than $3 million to this training initiative, which will help ensure Indigenous workers continue to play a vital role in Vale's workforce at Voisey's Bay. Through The Way Forward, my government will continue to collaborate with all levels of government, industry players, and Indigenous Governments and Organizations to encourage meaningful career opportunities and economic growth." - The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

"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." - Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador

"Aboriginal persons are excited about the training and employment opportunities that will be generated through this project, because they are essential components to the long-term sustainability of our Labrador communities. It is a proud and exciting time for the LATP." - Keith Jacque, Executive Director, Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership

"We are very proud of our Indigenous employment success at Voisey's Bay to date; over 50% of our operations workforce is Innu or Inuit, a rate that has been sustained throughout most of the life of the operation to date. Our goal is to implement strategies aimed at preparing indigenous people for work in the future underground mine and to ensure that we maintain and grow our aboriginal workforce well into the future; our partnership with LATP is key to our success." - Joao Zanon, Project Director Voisey's Bay Mine Expansion Project, Vale

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 Skills and Partnership Fund 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 2018, the SPF has served more than 34,500 Indigenous clients, which included helping over 13,000 individuals get jobs in various sectors such as natural resources, trades, health, retail and tourism, and assisting 1,703 individuals to return to school.