NEWS RELEASE: Supporting Aboriginal skills development and training in Northern Ontario

Honourable Greg Rickford – Minister of State: Science and Technology, Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (Fednor) and Minister Responsible for Ring of Fire

August 8, 2013 11:00 AM – General – Federal Government News

THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 8, 2013 /CNW/ – Aboriginal people in Northern Ontario will be better equipped to find fulfilling, long-term employment, as a result of training provided through a project funded by the Government of Canada. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) and Member of Parliament for Kenora, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development).

“Our government’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity, across the country and right here in Northern Ontario,” said Minister of State Rickford. “It’s important that all Canadians have the skills and training they need to succeed. By working with organizations such as Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services, we are ensuring that the members of local Aboriginal communities can take full advantage of the opportunities being generated by the rapidly growing mining industry, in particular in the Ring of Fire.”

Noront Resources Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer Paul Parisotto

Through the Skills and Partnership Fund, the Government of Canada will help 260 Aboriginal people in the Ring of Fire region get the skills and experience they need to find good quality, high-paying jobs through a contribution of over $5.9 million in Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) for its training project in the mining industry.

KKETS will partner with Noront Resources Ltd. and Confederation College to help participants from the Matawa First Nations gain skills for in-demand occupations in the mining industry, particularly in the Ring of Fire region. The Ring of Fire is a 5,000-square kilometre mineral-rich area in the James Bay Lowlands, situated within the traditional lands of two of the Matawa First Nations. Training will be provided for jobs such as heavy equipment operator, underground diamond driller helper and environmental monitor.

(L to R) Don Bernosky, Confederation College of Applied Arts & Technology, Vice President (Regional Workforce Development); Leanne Hall, Noront Resouces Vice President, Human Resources; Morris Wapoose, Kiikenomaga Kikenkigewen Employment & Training Services, KKETs Program Manager

“We are working hard to ensure that Canada stays on the right track for creating jobs,” said Minister of State Bergen. “Partnerships like this one are helping Aboriginal people take advantage of economic opportunities and build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.”

This project is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Aboriginal organizations and local industries to address Canada’s critical skills shortages.

The Skills and Partnership Fund is part of the Government of Canada’s approach to help First Nations, Métis and Inuit get training and work experience to secure meaningful and long-term employment.


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

SPF 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 is investing $210 million over five years in this partnership-based, opportunity-driven fund.

The Government of Canada also funds 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.

Finally, through the First Nations Job Fund, on-reserve First Nations youth between the ages of 18 to 24 in participating communities who receive Income Assistance and are deemed employable will be able to access the skills and training they need to secure employment. Launched in Economic Action Plan 2013 and administered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Job Fund is being implemented across the country with First Nations communities over three years through a phased-in approach.

The First Nations Job Fund is not applicable in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, where the territorial governments have responsibility for social assistance programming for all residents.
SOURCE Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:
This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For more information, contact:

Johanna Quinney
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
[email protected]

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