Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 19, 2009 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Training and Skills Development Opportunities for Aboriginal People in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - New Brunswick Aboriginal people will gain skills and training needed to work in the energy and natural resources sectors through a new project announced today. The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) and Member of Parliament for Fredericton, made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"The Enhancing Skills and Self-Sufficiency project will provide training and skills development opportunities to maximize employment of Aboriginal people in New Brunswick," said Minister Ashfield, speaking at a ceremony at the Kchikhusis Commercial Centre of the St. Mary's First Nation.

The Government of Canada is contributing approximately $2.47 million to the project through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) funding provided in Budget 2007. The project, ASEP-NB, will help Aboriginal people take advantage of job opportunities in industries such as mining, oil and gas, forestry, and fishing.

"Achieving self-sufficiency means harnessing the skills and resources of all the people in New Brunswick," said the Honourable Rick Brewer, Minister of Human Resources and Minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat for New Brunswick. "This project is an excellent opportunity to help Aboriginal people gain access to new skills and employment opportunities while helping industry meet its demands for skilled workers."

The Province of New Brunswick, along with the 15 First Nations communities, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and industry, will be investing a minimum of $2.4 million in the project.

Partnering with the newly formed New Brunswick First Nations and Business Liaison Group and the Joint Economic Development Initiative and business partners, ASEP-NB will focus on training-to-employment programs that prepare Aboriginal people for successful careers in energy and natural resources.

"The Construction Association of New Brunswick welcomes the opportunity to become involved in this exciting program," said Mr. John McDonald, President of the Fredericton Northwest Construction Association. "The construction industry sees great potential to build a new bond of cooperation with Aboriginal communities, which will benefit both groups and the Province of New Brunswick."

Mr. Alex Dedam, Co-Chair of the Joint Economic Development Initiative, said: "I am proud that we will have a role to play in making the Enhancing Skills and Self-Sufficiency project a success, so that we may address the range of barriers that Aboriginal people face in the work force."

Canada's Economic Action Plan, Budget 2009, is also committed to enhancing the availability of training by investing an additional $100 million over three years in the nationwide ASEP program. This investment will support up to 25 new ASEP projects, which could result in up to 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal people across the country.

"Canada's Economic Action Plan aims to create more and better opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians with increased investments in Aboriginal skills and employment programs," said Minister Ashfield.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request. Call 1-800-788-8282 on a touch-tone phone or through a teletypewriter (TTY).

BACKGROUNDER


ASEP-NB

ASEP-NB Inc. was established in 2004 to promote the development and recruitment of an Aboriginal labour force in New Brunswick's forestry sector. The organization will refocus on the energy and natural resources sectors, offering training-to-employment programs that will prepare Aboriginal people for successful careers in energy and natural resources.

The objective of the Enhancing Skills and Self-Sufficiency project is to maximize the employment of Aboriginal people throughout New Brunswick by partnering with service providers to provide trades-related training, and with private sector employers to develop employment opportunities.

- At least 150 Aboriginal people will participate in a total of 500 interventions ranging from academic upgrading to trades training/journeyman status.

- At least 50 Aboriginal people will be employed in permanent, long-term jobs in the energy and natural resources sectors.

Potential ASEP-NB Partners

- Irving Oil

- NB Power

- Construction Association of New Brunswick

- New Brunswick Community College

- Armour Transportation Systems

- New Brunswick's 15 First Nations communities, including off-reserve members

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program

Officially launched in 2003 as an $85-million, five-year labour market initiative, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program is designed to maximize training and job opportunities in major economic development projects across Canada by meeting employers' needs and labour market demands for skilled workers. In 2007, the Government of Canada invested an additional $105 million in the ASEP program.

ASEP's ultimate success is contingent on the strong partnerships 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.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is committed to enhancing the availability of training by investing an additional $100 million over three years in the ASEP program. This investment will support up to 25 new ASEP projects, which will result in up to 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal people.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559