Government of Canada supports vocational and on-the-job training for Aboriginal people to participate in the tourism industry

    WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Aboriginal people will gain valuable
vocational skills and employment experience required to work in the tourism
industry through a new strategy announced today.
    The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La
Francophonie and Member of Parliament for Louis-Saint-Laurent, made the
announcement on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human
Resources and Skills Development at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations, in Wendake,
    The Anionwentsaen project, funded with resources committed to the
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) in Budget 2007, will
assist Aboriginal people with vocational training in 32 different occupations
leading to employment in the tourism industry. This project will assist in
implementing a major tourism industry development plan for the Aboriginal
community of Wendake.
    "This investment of $4.9 million in Anionwentsaen will provide training
and skills development opportunities for about 300 Aboriginal people leading
to 120 long-term jobs in the tourism industry in the Quebec region," said
Minister Verner. "Each partner will bring its unique expertise and
contribution to the funding to ensure the successful implementation of the
    "This is the first ASEP agreement signed in Canada to support a First
Nation's tourism industry. The Council of the Huron-Wendat Nation is proud to
work in collaboration with the federal government to invest in skills
development and job creation. The winds of optimism are blowing through our
nation," said Grand Chief Konrad Sioui of the Huron-Wendat Nation.
    The Corporation Anionwentsaen is a formalized partnership between the
Aboriginal partners, educational institutions and the Province of Quebec that
promotes cultural and heritage tourism development in the Quebec region. It
has already contributed to the tourism industry of the area by supporting the
400th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Québec City in 2008.
    The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program focuses on
sustainable Aboriginal employment by providing the skills and training needed
to participate in economic opportunities such as tourism. Through the creation
of such partnerships the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that
Canada's work force for the future is the best-educated, the most-skilled and
most flexible in the world.
    Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, Budget 2009, the Government is
continuing its commitment to enhancing the availability of training by
investing an additional $100 million over three years in the nationwide ASEP
program. This investment will support up to 25 new ASEP projects, which could
result in up to 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal people across the country.
    Canada's Economic Action Plan aims to create more and better
opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians with increased investments in
Aboriginal skills and employment programs.


    Anionwentsaen Project Description

    The project will train about 300 Aboriginal people in the Quebec region
and provide at least 120 participants with long-term jobs in the tourism
industry. Special consideration being given to promote employment of
Aboriginal youth, women and persons with disabilities.
    The Centre de développement et de formation de la main d'oeuvre (CDFM), a
main partner to the project and a major Aboriginal vocational training center
in Wendake, will be responsible for recruitment, literacy and essential skills
upgrading and vocational training of participants.

    Project Sponsor

    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada: $4.9 million (40%)
    Aboriginal Governments and Organizations: $6.9 million (57%)
    Government of Quebec: $400, 000 (3%)

    The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program

    Launched in 2003, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP)
program is designed to maximize training and job opportunities in major
economic development projects across Canada. It does this by meeting
employers' needs and labour market demands for skilled workers.
    ASEP's ultimate success is contingent on the strong partnership forged
between Aboriginal groups, the private sector, federal, provincial and/or
territorial governments, labour, and educational institutions. Since the
program's inception, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has
successfully delivered programming with over 90 partners.
    Budget 2009 committed to enhance the availability of training by
investing an additional $100 million over three years in the Aboriginal Skills
and Employment Partnership (ASEP) initiative.
    Canada's Economic Action Plan, Budget 2009, is committed to enhancing the
availability of training by investing an additional $100 million over three
years in the ASEP program.

    Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund

    The Economic Action Plan also proposes $75 million over two years that
will be used to establish an Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic
Investment Fund. The Fund will lay the groundwork for a partnership and
results based successor to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
    The Fund will strengthen partnerships between Aboriginal employment
service organizations and employers through training-to-employment programs
and will support deeper investments in training for individuals facing
barriers to employment such as low literacy and essential skills. There will
also be opportunities to support training initiatives associated with other
elements of the Economic Action Plan, such as infrastructure and community
investment. Canada's Economic Action Plan includes $25 million for 2009-2010
to maintain current AHRDS funding until the new overall strategy is put in
place in April 2010.

For further information:

For further information: (media only): Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary,
Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Media Relations Office, Human
Resources and Social Development Canada, (819) 994-5559; For further
information on Corporation Anionwentsaen: Raymond Picard, General Manager,
Tourisme Wendake, (418) 847-1835; This news release is available in
alternative formats on request. Call 1-800-788-8282 on a touch-tone phone or
through a teletypewriter (TTY).

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