Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

March 14, 2008 13:00 ET

The Government of Canada Partners With Saskatchewan and the Resource Industry to Improve Aboriginal Training and Job Opportunities

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 14, 2008) - The Honourable Carol Skelton, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Rob Norris, Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour, today announced funding for an Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) project. It will provide training and skills development opportunities for 1,500 Aboriginal people in northern Saskatchewan, leading to long-term jobs in the resource sector, including mining, oil sands recovery, mineral exploration and oil and gas exploration.

Speaking at Cameco's corporate head office in Saskatoon, one of several industry partners participating in the project, Ms. Skelton announced $33 million in joint funding for the Northern Career Quest Partnership project.

"In Budget 2008, we reinforced our commitment to fostering partnerships involving the private and public sectors that help Aboriginal people get the skills and training they need to take advantage of opportunities in the North and across Canada," said Ms. Skelton. "Together, we can help to ensure that Aboriginal people in northern Saskatchewan have access to the skills and tools they need to reach their full potential."

Under the Northern Career Quest Partnership, the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and other stakeholders, including Aboriginal and industry partners, will provide $15 million, $6.3 million, and $11.8 million respectively, for a total of $33.1 million, to help approximately 1,500 Aboriginal people gain the skills and experience they need.

"This is a good news story about co-operation between government, First Nations and Metis people, the training sector and industry," said Minister Norris. "It will enable First Nations and Metis people to participate in greater numbers and at higher skill levels in northern Saskatchewan's resource industries."

"The co-operation of communities, industry and government has made uranium mining an engine of social and economic progress in northern Saskatchewan," said Mr. Gary Merasty, Chair of Northern Career Quest Inc. and Vice-President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Cameco. "This agreement will help provide First Nations and Metis people with the skills and knowledge needed to benefit fully from opportunities in the North, and ensure progress continues."

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership is a nationally managed program that provides Aboriginal people with the skills they need to participate in economic opportunities such as northern mining, oil and gas, and hydro development projects across Canada. ASEP's overall objective is sustainable employment for Aboriginal people in major economic industries, leading to lasting benefits for Aboriginal communities, families and individuals.

In 2007, the Government of Canada committed an additional $105 million to the ASEP program, an investment that will result in training for more than 16,000 Aboriginal people and 10,000 new jobs in and around their communities for Aboriginal workers. In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada committed $70 million over two years for measures to foster Aboriginal economic development.

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Organizations that have expressed a commitment and support to the Northern Career Quest Partnership:

- Northern Apprenticeship Committee

- Meadow Lake Tribal Council

- Prince Albert Grand Council

- Northlands College

- Advanced Education, Employment and Labour (Government of Saskatchewan)

- Cameco Corporation

- AREVA Resources Canada Inc.

- Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Services

- Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

- Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership and its family of companies, including Athabasca Catering Limited Partnership and Northern Resource Trucking Limited Partnership

- Major Drilling Group International

- Robwel Constructors Limited Partnership

- TMCC Thyssen Mining

- Winn Bay Sand Limited Partnership

- Metis Nation of Saskatchewan

- CanNorth - Canada North Environmental Services

- Boart Longyear Drilling Services

- Golden Band Resources

- Noble Bay Graphite Mine

- Oilsands Quest Inc.

- Nexon

- MEG Energy Corporation

- Devon Canada Corporation (subsidiary of Devon Energy Corporation)

- Shell Canada

- Shore Gold Inc.

- Petro-Canada

- Points Athabasca Contracting

- North West Regional College

- Meadow Lake Tribal Council Oil and Gas Secretariat

- Cumberland Regional College

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Saskatchewan Advanced Education, Employment and Labour
    Christopher Jones-Bonk
    Senior Communications Consultant