ST. JOHN'S, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - The provincial and federal governments, along with Labrador's three Aboriginal groups and Nalcor Energy - Lower Churchill Project, will contribute $30 million to provide Aboriginal people in Labrador with increased employment opportunities associated with major economic development activities. The result of the partnership is the establishment of the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP).
Through the Government of Canada's Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership (ASEP) program, LATP will receive approximately $15 million in federal funding under Canada's Economic Action Plan. The four partners - Nunatsiavut Government, Innu Nation, Labrador Metis Nation and Nalcor Energy-Lower Churchill Project, along with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, will provide an additional $15 million through a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.
"Our Government is committed to creating the best educated, the most skilled, and the most flexible workforce in the world," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "That's why we invested $15,000,000 in this project to help up to 250 Aboriginal people gain the skills they need to prepare for employment in hydroelectric construction and in other major economic opportunities related to the Lower Churchill Project site."
The mandate of the LATP is to oversee a comprehensive Training-to-Employment Plan that will prepare Inuit, Innu, and Metis for employment opportunities created through resource development throughout Labrador. It is an incorporated non-profit organization governed by a board of directors, with one voting member from each of the four partners.
"As the Northern Strategic Plan states, building capacity within Labrador is the foundation for all social and economic development, and building capacity begins with education," said the Honourable Patty Pottle, Newfoundland and Labrador's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs "The Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership will help ensure that Aboriginal groups are provided with the necessary education and skills to create opportunities in career development that will be a powerful force for positive social and economic change.
"Each Aboriginal group has contributed their own training plan to LATP and will have autonomy and flexibility to ensure training opportunities fit their needs.
"We are very excited about this program and the opportunities it will present to Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement," said Nunatsiavut's Education and Economic Development Minister Darryl Shiwak. "It's good to see efforts are being made to train individuals and provide them with employment experience before major economic development projects actually start."
Labrador Metis Nation President and CEO, Chris Montague said, "We are pleased to be part of a team that will initiate education and training programs to enrich and enhance the skills and opportunities of all Aboriginal people in Labrador."
Mark Nui, Grand Chief of the Innu Nation stated, "The Lower Churchill Project is located in Innu traditional territory and it is critical to us that our communities share equitably in the benefits from this mega-project. This includes employment opportunities that can only be realized through the training that will be delivered through LATP. This training offers real hope for our people and we are grateful to the federal government and Nalcor for supporting this initiative."
According to Ed Martin, President and CEO of Nalcor Energy, "The Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership will not only create a skilled work force and assist with continued resource development, it will also help build stronger, more sustainable communities throughout Labrador. Nalcor is committed to collaborating on critical partnerships like LATP."
The four partners submitted the ASEP proposal to the federal government in May 2009 and the $30 million funding agreement will be in place until March 31, 2012.
LATP's main office will be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and satellite offices may also be set up on Labrador's north and south coasts and in the Innu communities of Natuashish and Sheshatshiu. In the coming months, LATP will hold community information sessions throughout Labrador, providing Aboriginal people with further details. An official event unveiling the Happy Valley-Goose Bay office will take place in March.
For more information about LATP visit www.latp.ca
Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership (ASEP) ASEP is a nationally-managed, opportunity-driven, project-based program that promotes increased participation of Aboriginal people in major economic developments through formalized Aboriginal and private-sector partnership. The provinces and territories must also contribute to the projects, and all partners must contribute at least 50 per cent of the total cost of the project. The ASEP program supports multi-year training-to-employment strategies that are developed and managed by Aboriginal organizations and employers, leading to long-term skilled jobs for Aboriginal people in existing and emerging industries.
ASEP was initially launched in 2003 as an $85-million, five-year program supporting nine projects that resulted in over 8,700 Aboriginal people receiving training, with more than 3,000 of them finding long-term sustainable jobs. In 2007, the ASEP program was extended to 2012, with an additional $105 million supporting 16 more projects. Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is investing an additional $100 million over three years in ASEP to help Aboriginal people participate in the workforce and get the training they need to make the most of employment opportunities.
Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP)
The purpose of the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP) is to assist with improving labour market outcomes for Aboriginal people and providing support for a skilled, adaptable and inclusive labour force.
LATP will offer training, certification and job placement support to Aboriginal men, women and youth. Training and certification will focus on such areas as pre-trades apprentice, construction trades occupations, heavy equipment operator, iron worker, concrete worker, truck driver, various camp support positions, and supervisory and management positions.
The partnership will also contribute to training and workplace experience required for skilled positions in the trades, operations management and emergency response, which are in demand by Aboriginal, private and public sector employers in the region.
SOURCE LABRADOR ABORIGINAL TRAINING PARTNERSHIP (LATP)
For further information: For further information: Media Relations, Human Resources and Skills Development Corporation, (819) 994-5559; Dorothy Earle, General Manager, Labrador Metis Nation, (709) 896-0592, c. (709) 899-1184, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Tompkins, Director of Communications, Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, (709) 729-1674, c (709) 728-7760, email@example.com; Mark Nui, Grand Chief, Innu Nation, (709) 897-5494, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bert Pomeroy, Director of Communications, Nunatsiavut Government, (709) 896-8582, email@example.com; Leona Barrington, Senior Communications Specialist, Nalcor Energy - Lower Churchill Project, (709) 737-1837, c. (709) 693-7398, firstname.lastname@example.org