KENORA, ON, Aug. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today held discussions with Aboriginal and industry leaders on how to increase jobs and opportunities for Aboriginal people.
The roundtables in Northern Ontario are part of a series of roundtables taking place across Canada with Aboriginal organizations and employers about the need to fill skills shortages and to ensure that federal investments in Aboriginal training is providing Aboriginal peoples with the skills they need in today's economy.
Many of the hundreds of resource projects set to come online in the coming years are near Aboriginal communities, providing tremendous jobs opportunities for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Ensuring that Aboriginal peoples have the skills required to fill these jobs will help employers address the skills shortage they are facing and improve the economic and social wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
- The natural resource industry currently supports 32,000 Aboriginal jobs—making natural resources the largest employer of Aboriginal people in Canada.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, Ontario is losing out on as much as $24.3 billion in economic activity because employers cannot find people with the skills they need.
- Increased retirement in the Ontario construction industry will result in the need to replace as many as 83,000 skilled workers over the next decade.
- Copper, nickel, zinc, gold and chromite deposits worth up to $60 billion have been discovered in Northern Ontario.
"As the youngest and fastest-growing segment of the population, Aboriginal people are a critical part of our future prosperity. These roundtables are an opportunity for our government to hear first-hand from Aboriginals and employers on ways to better help Aboriginal people secure meaningful employment and build better futures for themselves and their communities."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"Given the proximity of many Aboriginal communities to large economic projects, there is a tremendous opportunity to address some of Canada's skills shortages, while improving economic opportunities for Aboriginal people. That's why our government is taking action to help Aboriginal people get the skills and experience needed to find and keep jobs, including in Ontario's mining industry."
- The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Kenora.
Aboriginal Labour Market Programs
ESDC has three Aboriginal labour market programs:
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy supports 85 Aboriginal organizations throughout Canada that deliver skills training and support services to prepare First Nations, Métis and Inuit people to succeed in the workforce.
Skills and Partnership Fund is a fund that encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with government, business and community organizations to provide skills training and create job opportunities for Aboriginal people.
First Nations Job Fund: Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada improved the on-reserve Income Assistance Program. A key component of this initiative is the First Nations Job Fund. The Job Fund provides personalized job training to young Income Assistance recipients in participating communities to enable them to develop the right skills to secure jobs.
For more information, please visit: www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/aboriginal/index.shtml.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister