Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 05, 2012 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Aboriginal People Develop Job Skills

ANTIGONISH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 5, 2012) - A Government of Canada investment will help 200 Aboriginal people in Antigonish get the training and skills development they need to find and keep good jobs.

To accomplish this, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that, through the Skills and Partnership Fund, Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation is receiving close to $1.3 million for its Building an Employment-Ready Workforce project.

"Our government's top priority is job creation and economic growth. We know that in a constantly evolving labour market, it's important that Canadians get the skills and training they need to succeed," said Minister MacKay. "This is why we work with partners such as Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation to ensure Aboriginal people are able to take full advantage of economic opportunities."

Through the project, members of Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation will get training and learn the skills required for jobs in the construction and commercial development of Highway 104.

"The Skills and Partnership Fund opens many doors for the Paqtnkek membership and I am very excited for the youth of our community," said Chief Gerard Julian. "This funding will support our Highway Development Master Plan and develop skills, training and educational opportunities. Paqtnkek has been proactively seeking to develop partnerships with all three levels of government and I see great positive future developments for Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation as a result of this project."

"It is the goal of Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation to have these employment positions provided to the community to increase the employment rate and promote self-sustainability and entrepreneurship," said Rose Julian, Economic Development Officer with Paqtnkek. "The most effective way to do this is through providing the means to prepare community members for business development and involve the workforce right from the start of the project."

The Fund is part of the Government's approach to help First Nations, Métis and Inuit people get training and work experience to secure sustainable, meaningful employment. It is intended to encourage innovation in Aboriginal training-to-employment products and service delivery.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

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Launched in July 2010, the Skills and Partnership Fund encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with government, business and community organizations that drive change, improve skills training and create opportunities for Aboriginal people.

The Government of Canada is investing $210 million over five years in this partnership-based, opportunity-driven fund. The Fund supports projects that encourage innovation, test new approaches and address systemic gaps in the delivery of employment services to Aboriginal Canadians to ensure this growing population can fully share in economic opportunities. All Aboriginal organizations are eligible to apply for funding under the program.

The Skills and Partnership Fund builds on the success of earlier Aboriginal employment programs. It responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market while providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to fully participate in Canada's economy.

The Government of Canada also supports the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which is an integrated approach to Aboriginal labour market programming that links training to labour market demand. The Strategy supports more than 80 Aboriginal organizations in the delivery of programs and services to increase Aboriginal participation in the Canadian labour 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. The program was launched in April 2010 with funding of $1.6 billion over five years.

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Director of Communications
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada