Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

July 13, 2007 13:00 ET

Canada's New Government Invests in Partnerships Between Industry and Aboriginal People

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 13, 2007) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced an investment of $105 million over five years for new partnership projects across Canada. These projects will help Aboriginal people gain new skills and employment opportunities, and will help industry to meet its demand for skilled workers.

Eligible partners have until September 7, 2007, to submit project proposals for funding through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP). An estimated 15 to 20 projects will be funded, which will allow 9,000 Aboriginal people to receive training and 6,500 others to obtain long-term skilled jobs.

"Canada's New Government is proud to announce funding for this initiative to help Aboriginal people develop the knowledge and skills they need to find good quality jobs," said Minister Solberg. "This program encourages participation in the work force, and will help meet Canada's current and future labour demands."

"The partnership between the construction industry and the Aboriginal community through the Vancouver ASEP program has been a great success for everyone involved", stated Mr. Keith Sashaw, President of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association. "We have been able to train much-needed construction project workers when we require them the most. The Aboriginal youth are also acquiring the training and experience that will give them lifelong skills leading to careers."

ASEP is part of the federal government's long-term national economic plan Advantage Canada. This plan recognizes the need to help Canadians facing unique challenges and those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the work force, such as Aboriginal people.

The ASEP program provides the training needed to improve Aboriginal participation in the job market across Canada, and to help employers meet labour and skill shortages by tapping into the potential of the Aboriginal work force. ASEP's key component is a collaborative partnership between Aboriginal groups and major employers. Other key partners include provincial/territorial governments, learning institutions, sector councils, labour unions, and other federal departments and agencies.

Canada's New Government currently has nine other ASEP projects underway, which will help approximately 7,000 Aboriginal people to obtain training and lead 3,500 others to high-skilled, sustainable careers.

"We are very pleased to be able to expand and build on this program," said Minister Solberg. "Investing in people improves the economy and is good for productivity, but more importantly, under this program, people benefit, families benefit and communities benefit."

For further information regarding ASEP, or to obtain a copy of the Request for Proposals, please consult:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Solberg
    Lesley Harmer
    Director of Communications
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office