Aboriginal Employment Opportunities
Necessary Steps: Aboriginal Employment Opportunities for the Indigenous Population in Canada
The Government of Canada has undertaken a number of initiatives to provide the Aboriginal community a wide variety of resources and helpful information when it comes to Aboriginal employment. The objective is to increase Aboriginal employment representation in workplaces across Canada. According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginals in Canada have experienced lower levels of participation in the labour force and a higher unemployment rate when compared to other groups (Statistics Canada, 2017). Employment struggles within the Indigenous community is what prompted the government of Canada to develop initiatives, provide funding and take the necessary steps in alleviating these concerns.
One way the Government of Canada is trying to promote considerable change when it comes to Indigenous education, employment and overall economic success, is by deploying a strategy that targets the younger generation. Since its inception, the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)’s, First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy has provided approximately 150,000 opportunities to First Nations and Inuit Youth (Government of Canada, 2018). With an annual budget of $24 million, the program helps hundreds of First Nations and Inuit communities in designing and implementing initiatives that will help the community grow – enabling the individuals to overcome barriers and achieve success (Government of Canada, 2018).
One of these programs, the First Nations and Inuit Summer Work Experience Program, enables First Nations and Inuit youth to acquire necessary skills that will prepare them for their potential careers, while earning an income that supports their post-secondary education (Government of Canada, 2018). This opportunity not only helps Aboriginal youth gain relevant experience, but also incentivizes employers across Canada to hire on these youth at a subsidized rate. This can be seen as a means of underrepresented Aboriginal youth getting their “foot in the door” and gradually overturning the lower level of participation in the labour force and high unemployment rate that plagues the community.
Another program, the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program, helps Aboriginal youth acquire the necessary skill set and knowledge to excel in the workforce. Whether it is career guidance and promotion, educational activities, or co-operative education placements and internships, the First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program seeks to advance the aboriginal community through increased presence and success in the Canadian workforce (Government of Canada, 2018).
These are programs that the Aboriginal community can turn to when trying to overcome the obstacles they face when it comes to education and targetted Aboriginal employment. Although the statistics are discouraging and paint a picture of the reality hundreds of vulnerable Canadians face, there is hope that government initiatives in place will help to improve the circumstances for the underrepresented minorities in Canada’s labour force. The Government of Canada, along with employers across Canada, can continue to work together in creating more opportunities for the Indigenous population in Canada and help guide them for success.
If you are looking for a job, head over to www.aboriginaljobboard.ca and check out a few great employers committed to employing Canadian Aboriginals.
Canada, Government of Canada Statistics. “Aboriginal people and the labour market.” Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 16 Mar. 2017, www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170316/dq170316d-eng.htm.
Government of Canada; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Communications Branch. “First Nations and Inuit Skills Link Program.” Government of Canada; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Communications Branch, 23. Jan. 2018, www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100033627/1100100033637.