Minister Valcourt Talks Skills Training and Jobs with Okanagan Nation Youth

Minister Hears from Youth as They Progress Towards Employment.

PENTICTON, BC, July 29, 2014 /CNW/ - On July 26, 2014, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt and Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, met with youth affiliated with the Okanagan Nation who are receiving personalized support so that they can secure the skills training that will help them find a job and achieve the self-sufficiency they deserve. Also participating in the discussions were Chief Jonathan Kruger and Social Development Manager Ted Cutbill.

The Okanagan Nation currently has close to 90 affiliated youth undertaking Enhanced Service Delivery, which supports First Nations in identifying individuals' employment needs and establishes a plan to assist individuals in overcoming barriers to employment. The goal: connecting youth with jobs. On January 31, 2014, Minister Valcourt announced that nearly 4,000 First Nation youth from across Canada will participate in an effort to reduce reliance on Income Assistance by providing youth with access to a wider, more personalized, range of training, education and career counselling programs that will help them get jobs.

By investing in jobs and skills training for First Nation youth, the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to help build more prosperous, self-sufficient First Nation communities.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $241 million in new funding to help First Nation youth between the ages of 18 and 24 get personalized job and skills training as part of changes to the Income Assistance program. Specifically, $132 million for Enhanced Service Delivery and $109 million for a new First Nations Job Fund.
  • Participants have access to a range of services and programs aimed at increasing their job prospects and supporting them as they move into the workforce, including: basic life-skills and literacy training, skills training and career counseling.
  • Changes to the program are targeted to help First Nation youth find meaningful employment.
  • Close to 250 First Nation youth in British Columbia are receiving personalized job readiness support thanks to this initiative.
  • The Penticton Indian Band is one of six First Nations (Osoyoos, Westbank, Penticton, Okanagan, Upper Similkameen, Lower Similkameen) that are receiving skills and training supports under Okanagan Nation's Enhanced Service Delivery.


"Our Government firmly believes that First Nations should have the same opportunities as all Canadians to find, keep and enjoy the benefits of a good job. I am happy to have heard from the inspiring Okanagan Nation youth on how they are benefiting from the skills training program. Our Government is proud to see how this initiative is creating concrete results for Aboriginal people."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"Listening to the youth today we can see that our program is increasing opportunities for young First Nations to overcome barriers and develop personalized career plans that will lead to jobs."

Dan Albas
Member of Parliament for Okanagan - Coquihalla

"Our youth are the foundation of our community. By supporting the next generation to build the skills and knowledge needed to find meaningful employment, we are supporting a stronger future for the Penticton Indian Band."

Chief Jonathan Kruger
Penticton Indian Band

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SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

For further information: Erica Meekes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160

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