Minister Kenney announces support to help Aboriginal people get training as welders, electricians and pipefitters
TERRACE, BC, Feb. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, today announced federal government support to help Aboriginal people in British Columbia get the skills they need to land well-paying jobs in the resource sector. Minister Kenney also highlighted Economic Action Plan 2014 measures to ensure Canadians have the skills employers require for available jobs.
The Government of Canada will provide over $6.1 million to the Pacific Trail Pipelines Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Training Society to train 780 Aboriginal people in British Columbia. The Training Society will partner with the private sector to help Aboriginal people gain skills for occupations in demand in the energy sector including welders, electricians and pipefitters. Minister Kenney highlighted how the energy sector is building ambitious projects, many of which are literally in the backyards of Aboriginal communities. This represents a tremendous opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal people and helps address skills shortages in British Columbia.
Minister Kenney also highlighted the Government of Canada's recent agreement with the Assembly of First Nations on improving education for First Nations children on reserves. This announcement marks an historic milestone for First Nations and all Canadians as we move forward with legislation so that First Nations children across Canada have access to a quality education and can participate fully in Canada's prosperous future.
- The Pacific Trail Pipelines Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Training Society will help over 780 Aboriginal people train for jobs such as heavy equipment operators, electricians, welders and pipefitters to support pipeline construction and operations in northern B.C.
- Aboriginal communities are seeing meaningful benefits from resource development across Canada. The natural resource industry currently supports 31 000 Aboriginal jobs—making natural resources the largest employer of Aboriginal people in Canada.
- The Research Universities' Council of B.C predicts that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 19 000 qualified workers in B.C.
"The Government of Canada's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our government is helping Aboriginal people get the skills and training they need to secure meaningful employment and build better futures for themselves and their families."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"PTP ASEP Training Society is built on the foundation of partnerships with the client, Chevron, Apache, the LNG Terminal Project, the PTP Pipeline Project as well as First Nations, federal and provincial governments. The partnerships create unique opportunities to really support clients and develop a strong First Nations Trades labour force. It truly is a game changer."
- Diane Collins, Executive Director, PTP ASEP Training Society
"Chevron believes in creating economic benefits and employment in the communities where we operate. The Pacific Trail Pipeline Limited Partnership between Chevron, Apache and 15 First Nations along the proposed natural gas pipeline route is unique in western Canadian resource development. Today's announcement will provide even more opportunities for First Nations in northern B.C. to participate in the Kitimat LNG and Pacific Trail Pipeline projects and to share the benefits it will generate through the skills training, education and employment opportunities offered through Pacific Trail Pipelines Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership."
- Alan Dunlop, Vice President of Chevron Canada Limited and General Manager of the Kitimat LNG project
Skills and Partnership Fund backgrounder
Economic Action Plan 2014
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes $1.25 billion from 2016-17 to 2018-19 in support of the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act. In addition, Economic Action Plan 2014 confirms a new Enhanced Education Fund that will provide funding of $160 million over four years starting in 2015-16.
To help registered apprentices with the cost of their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades, the Canada Apprentice Loan will offer interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training and will defer interest charges and loan repayment until the recipients complete or cancel their study program. It is estimated that at least 26 000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in loans.
The Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project will help reduce non-financial barriers to completing training and obtaining certification by using new learning tools such as in-class simulators, e-learning modules, remote learning sites and video conferencing. This will help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program. This project could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects through reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in 2014-15.
The Government will ensure increased awareness of existing financial supports available through Employment Insurance (EI) so apprentices can start to receive benefits more quickly while on technical training. Through EI's Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan, employers can also invest more in apprenticeship training by choosing to top up an apprentice's benefits by up to 95 percent of his or her normal wage.
Skills and Partnership Fund
Launched in July 2010, the Skills and Partnership Fund encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with government, business and community organizations that improve skills training and create opportunities for Aboriginal people. This partnership-based, opportunity-driven fund responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market while providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to fully participate in Canada's economy.
Other Aboriginal Labour Market Programs
The Government of Canada also funds the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), which links training to labour market demand. ASETS supports more than 80 Aboriginal organizations in the delivery of programs and services to increase Aboriginal participation in the job market.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of the Minister
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter