Governments of Canada and Alberta support Aboriginal skills development

EDMONTON, March 13, 2013 /CNW/ - In Alberta, 350 Aboriginal people will be trained for high-demand jobs in the energy sector, thanks to investments from the Governments of Canada and Alberta, and other partners. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Robin Campbell, Alberta Minister of Aboriginal Relations.

Governments, industry, trade unions, training organizations and Aboriginal communities are investing close to $7 million in this training initiative that is designed to address Alberta's critical skills shortages and build better futures for Aboriginal people.

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity," said Mr. Hawn. "It's important that Canadians have the skills and training they need to succeed. That's why, through the Skills and Partnership Fund, our government works with partners to ensure Aboriginal people can take full advantage of economic opportunities."

Through the Skills and Partnership Fund, the Government of Canada is contributing over $1.9 million to the Trade Winds to Success Training Society to provide Aboriginal people with training and work experience in various energy-related occupations, in particular in Alberta's oil and gas sector. These include jobs such as boilermakers, carpenters, electricians, welders and pipefitters.

The Government of Alberta will also invest $1.6 million in the project through the through the Ministries of Human Services and Aboriginal Relations.

"The Alberta Government is a proud partner of the Trade Winds to Success Training Society, which has helped more than 500 Aboriginal Albertans build brighter futures for themselves and their families since 2005," said Minister Campbell. "We are committed to working with Aboriginal communities to ensure they can take advantage of the opportunities available in our province and reach their full potential."

"The Board of Directors, Trade Winds to Success Training Society staff and, most importantly, the Aboriginal people we serve, would like to thank the federal and provincial governments for their financial support through the Skills and Partnership Fund," said Deborah Munroe, Executive Director, Trade Winds to Success Training Society. "This funding will allow us to continue doing what we do best—putting Aboriginal people to work in the trades."

There are 10 other partners, including the Oteenow Employment & Training Society, Community Futures Treaty Seven, ConocoPhillips and the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre that are making significant investments in this initiative.

The Skills and Partnership Fund is part of the Government of Canada's approach to help First Nations, Métis and Inuit get training and work experience to secure meaningful long-term employment.


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Launched in July 2010, the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with government, business and community organizations that drive change, improve skills training and create opportunities for Aboriginal people.

SPF responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market while providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to fully participate in Canada's economy. The Government of Canada is investing $210 million over five years in this partnership-based, opportunity-driven fund.

The Government of Canada also funds the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which is an integrated approach to Aboriginal labour market programming that links training to labour market demand. The Strategy supports more than 80 Aboriginal organizations in the delivery of programs and services to increase Aboriginal participation in the Canadian labour market. It focuses on three strategic priorities: supporting skills development; fostering partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and territories; and accountability and results. The program was launched in April 2010 with funding of $1.6 billion over five years.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Kevin Zahara
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Campbell
780-638-4510

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559