NORTH BATTLEFORD, SK, May 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is providing more support to Indigenous employment and training organizations serving Indigenous people across Canada. The goal is to increase opportunities for Indigenous people to develop their skills and access support services they need to get jobs and succeed in the labour market.
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, made the announcement today at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Assembly.
Some measures supported by this targeted funding to at-risk Indigenous communities could include: flexible supports for costs associated with obtaining child care; transportation needs and services; and driver education and licensing.
Budget 2016 also includes support for Indigenous community needs, such as housing construction, water treatment and local administration. Indigenous people will also benefit from funding for literacy, learning, individual supports and essential skills training.
Minister Mihychuk also informed the audience of a new call for proposals for the Skills and Partnership Fund, with a total value of $50 million per year. The Fund encourages Indigenous organizations to create partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to improve skills training. The call for proposals closes on July 5, 2016.
The Government remains focused on renewing its nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous people, based on recognition, rights and respect. To further this co-operation, the Government will engage in discussions with Indigenous partners to work towards a renewed, improved and lasting Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). The first engagement has taken place with FSIN and further engagement with Indigenous partners will take place this year. A renewed ASETS will help provide stability to the program in 2017 and beyond.
"Today's investments will help more Indigenous people overcome barriers to finding and keeping jobs. We're providing more support today, and launching a nation-to-nation discussion that will help build a sustainable job opportunities program for the years ahead."
– The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"We welcome the federal government investment into the development of our people's skills and training needs. Our First Nation people require education and training opportunities to build healthier families and communities. This is a positive step forward to the importance of life-long learning. We look forward to our continued nation-to-nation Inherent and Treaty based relationship."
– Bobby Cameron, Chief, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
- The 2016 Budget invested $8.4 Billion over five years to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous people and their communities and bring about transformational change.
- The unemployment rate among Indigenous people, who are consistently under-represented in the Canadian workforce, remains higher than the Canadian average.
- To date, ASETS has helped over 100,000 Indigenous people find jobs and over 49,000 return to school.
- ASETS supports 84 Indigenous organizations with over 600 points of service throughout Canada to develop and deliver labour market programs and services to increase Indigenous participation in the job market.
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy
The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) supports 84 Indigenous organizations with over 600 points of service throughout Canada to develop and deliver labour market programs and services to increase Indigenous participation in the job market. It focuses on three strategic priorities: supporting skills development; fostering partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and territories; and accountability and results.
ASETS was launched in April 2010, and while the program was originally set to expire in March 2015, the Government extended agreements until March 31, 2017, to ensure continued services for communities while it considers options.
Skills and Partnership Fund
The Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) encourages Indigenous organizations to create partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations that improve skills training and create opportunities for Indigenous people. The program responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market, while providing opportunities for Indigenous people to fully participate in Canada's economy.
The SPF was launched in April 2010 with funding of $210 million over five years. While the SPF was originally set to expire in March 2015, the Government provided $15 million to continue to support a selection of existing projects, and then renewed the program with funding of $50 million per year, starting in 2016–17.
A call for proposals for the SPF was recently launched to seek applications from Indigenous organizations for partnership-based projects focused on improving the job prospects of Indigenous people through one of the following two streams:
- training-to-employment (projects that lead to long-term skilled jobs); or
- innovation (projects that use an innovative approach to improve the employability of Indigenous people while addressing socio-economic challenges in Indigenous communities).
First Nations Job Fund
The First Nations Job Fund provides youth aged 18 to 24 who are receiving income assistance and living on reserve in participating communities with access to employment supports and job training so that they can develop the skills they need to find a job.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: John O'Leary, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Maryann Mihychuk, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]