Victoria Provides $320K for First Nations Labour Market Study
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has announced $320,000 in funding for a First Nations labour market study.
Victoria has teamed up with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) to study trends in 10 First Nations communities in this region:
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Lheidli T’enneh Band, McLeod Lake Band, Nadleh Whut’en Band, Nak’azdli Band, Saik’uz First Nation, Stellate’en First Nation, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Yekooche First Nation.
“We’re so happy to be here today to make this announcement with the Province,” said PGNAETA president Barb Ward-Burkitt. “So we’re going to be working with those bands with a coordinated approach to conduct labour market information studies. The reason for that is that information and data are really foundational pieces for forming annual workforce strategies.”
“The project is employing a co-ordinator, a research assistant and field interviewers to gather information and develop a skills inventory, long-term approaches for Aboriginal labour force development, and a human resources strategy to meet the anticipated labour demand for skilled workers in the participating First Nations communities,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.”
Jobs Minister Shirley Bond, who made the announcement at PGNAETA’s Annual General Meeting at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club this morning, said the study will be an important tool for the government.
“It’s amazing to me that First Nations in B.C. – 50 percent of their population is under the age of 25 and so as we’re searching for the workforce of the future, we need to make sure that the First Nations have the skill set that they need to move into the job market.”
How long will the study take?
“It’ll evolve over the next number of months,” said Bond. “But it does take time, there will be a significant number of interviews, both of employees and potential employers. So there’s no definitive timeline but I would suggest over the next six to eight months we’ll start to see those results.”