On June 26th, 2018 Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada will contribute $9.6 million towards the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership through the Skills and Partnership Fund. The funding will be used to provide over 400 Indigenous people in Labrador with skills and on-the-job training at the Vale mine site, as well as foundational training such as safety and first aid. Employment positions will include underground miner, apprentice trades, and mine site support and services.
This announcement will support The Labrador Aboriginal Employment Preparation Strategy, a program that will help Indigenous Labradorians overcome the numerous barriers they face when finding employment. Currently, Indigenous people are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian workforce, yet are still vastly underrepresented. This strategy will address this issue by providing training, education, and opportunities for Indigenous peoples to develop valuable skills that will land them well-paying jobs. By providing ambitious, talented Indigenous people with the opportunities to enter the workforce, we’re growing the economy of Labrador. Between April 2010 and March 2018 the Skills and Partnership Fund served more than 34,500 Indigenous clients – 13,000 of whom were helped to find jobs, while 1,703 were helped with returning to school.
In addition to this funding, the Government will also invest $2 billion over 5 years and over $400 million per year ongoing to create a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, as announced in Budget 2018. This will help address the employment gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people nationwide.