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Government of Canada Improves Training and Job Opportunities for Aboriginal People in Saskatchewan

Aboriginal workers in Saskatchewan will be better prepared to take advantage of economic opportunities in their province, thanks to a new project announced today by MP Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development; and the Honourable Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan's Minister of Enterprise and Innovation.

"Our government is taking steps to ensure that Aboriginal workers have access to the skills and training they need to reach their full potential," said Mr. Clarke. "We are actively working with partners so that Aboriginal Canadians can fully share in economic opportunities that will lead to lasting benefits for Aboriginal people, their communities and their families."

Speaking at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Mr. Clarke and Minister Stewart announced funding to the Saskatchewan Labour Market Commission to undertake the Aboriginal Participation and Upskilling Initiative pilot project. The project will create an innovative Web-based network that will provide participants with tutorials, links to training programs, best practices, and learning plans based on occupation. The project is designed to help 150 Aboriginal workers develop and implement personalized learning plans, enabling them to upgrade their skills and increase their employability.

"This program helps our growing Aboriginal workforce reach its full potential," said Minister Stewart. "Like any workforce, it needs the higher education and skills levels that lead to greater productivity, increased innovation, success, growth and higher earnings. In turn, these open the door to the quality of life we all seek."

"We need all hands on deck," agreed Saskatchewan Labour Market Commission Co-Chairs Holly Hetherington and Larry Hubich. "Saskatchewan's future prosperity depends on building an inclusive work force, investing in the skills of our people and viewing all people as contributing resources. First Nations and Metis citizens are critical keys to our future work force, and we are pleased to be part of this exciting new initiative."

"This project is a very good initiative that complements the ongoing work being done through our Aboriginal Employment Development initiative," said the Honourable June Draude, Saskatchewan's Minister of First Nations and Metis Relations. "We want to see Saskatchewan's First Nations and Metis people benefiting from our strong economy. This is a great program to train people for jobs in areas where employers need skilled workers."

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will fund the project through its Workplace Skills Initiative. The Initiative is designed to fund innovative projects that help improve and transform Canadian workplaces to meet both present and future challenges. It also encourages employers to invest in the skills of their employees, helps inform federal government labour market policy and programming, and promotes and tests promising approaches to skills development and improved human resources practices. [Source: Marketwire]

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