Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 21, 2009 15:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Participation in Saskatoon Construction Industry

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - Aboriginal people will receive skills and employment training leading to long-term jobs in the Saskatoon residential construction industry through a major training investment by the Government of Canada.

Ms. Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

The project, funded through the federal government's Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program, will support major economic opportunities identified in the residential construction industry in Saskatoon and its surrounding communities. The investment by the federal government of $2.9 million will provide Aboriginal people with the skills and training they need to participate in economic opportunities.

"These investments are part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government's plan to stimulate the economy, protect Canadians during the global recession and invest in long-term growth," said Ms. Block. "As announced in the plan, the Government will invest an additional $100 million over three years in ASEP to help Aboriginal people participate in the workforce and get the training they need to make the most of employment opportunities."

The project, a partnership between stakeholders in the construction industry, the provincial government, Aboriginal organizations and the federal government, was created to maximize the benefits for Aboriginal participants in the residential construction industry.

"The Saskatoon and Region Home Builders' Association is proud to have facilitated the efforts to form this valuable partnership. In our view, the Bridges and Foundations Career Development Corporation will foster individual, family, career and community development," said Mr. Alan H.J. Thomarat, Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders' Association and President of the Bridges and Foundations Career Development Corporation.

"Bolstering education and employment opportunities for First Nations and Metis people is an ethical and economic imperative," said the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour for Saskatchewan. "This project is a major opportunity for our province, the home building industry and most especially 400 young Aboriginal people."

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program focuses on sustainable Aboriginal employment by providing the skills and training needed to participate in economic opportunities. Through the creation of such partnerships, the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that Canada's workforce for the future is the best educated, most skilled and most flexible in the world.

ASEP is a nationally managed, project-based program promoting increased participation of Aboriginal people in major developments through a partnership-based approach. The program supports multi-year strategies developed and managed by partnerships leading to long-term skilled jobs.

Canada's Economic Action Plan aims to create more and better opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians with increased investments in Aboriginal skills and employment programs. To learn more about the Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Bridges and Foundations for Aboriginal Development Project

The project will train about 600 Aboriginal people in the Saskatchewan region and provide at least 400 participants with long-term jobs in the construction industry. Special consideration will be given to promote employment of Aboriginal youth, women in non-traditional occupations and persons with disabilities.

The Saskatoon construction industry employs over 18, 000 people directly and indirectly, and, with growing demands coupled with increasing retirement rates, the need for skilled labour will continue to outstrip supply.

Project Sponsors

Federal government: $2,977,598 (46%)

Provincial government: $2,360,000 (36%)

Aboriginal organizations: $220,000 (3%)

Private sector: $902,240 (14%)

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 program.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Bridges and Foundations Career Development Corporation
    Alan Thomarat
    President
    306-955-5188, ext. 234
    president@bridgesandfoundations.ca