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Government of Canada Invests in Construction Sector Training and Jobs

MELFORT, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - June 25, 2010) - The Saskatchewan construction industry will get a boost in skilled labour as a result of a training and skills development project. The Fort-à-la-Corne Employment Development Partnership project is based on an agreement between the Government of Canada, the construction industry, a post-secondary institution and Aboriginal organizations.

Mr. Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, today announced that the Government of Canada is contributing $7.5 million towards this project through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program. The partners are contributing the balance of the funding, for a total of over $15 million.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that people have the skills that will enable them to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Hoback. "Through the Fort-à-la-Corne Employment Development Partnership project, our government is working with industry and Aboriginal organizations to help Canadians get good jobs in the construction industry. This is part of our overall strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world."

Through this project, participants will receive the skills training they need to take part in the construction of a hydroelectric facility. Once the construction project is finished, the participants will be able to use their transferable skills to obtain long-term employment.

"This project is a work of preparing the Aboriginal workforce for the jobs that will be created by the construction of a hydroelectric station that the James Smith Cree Nation is developing within its territory," said Mr. Dwayne Seib, Executive Director of the Fort-à-la-Corne Employment Development Partnership. "The skills and work experience gained from this project set the stage for continuing employability for the participants beyond the hydro project, and this is good for the Saskatchewan economy."

The Government of Canada's contribution to this training and skills development project is being delivered through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program.

The ASEP program promotes partnerships between the Government of Canada, other levels of government, local organizations and employers. It provides on-the-job training that leads to long-term jobs in high demand professions such as mining, hydro development, fisheries, tourism, construction and infrastructure.

Canada's Economic Action Plan provided an additional $100 million in funding for ASEP to provide more and better opportunities for Canada's Aboriginal people.

One of these investments is the Bridges and Foundations Career Development project. It supports economic opportunities in the Saskatoon area's residential construction industry. Close to 600 Aboriginal people in the region will receive training, and it is expected that at least 400 of the participants will secure long-term jobs. Mr. Dylan Ratt, one of the participants, explained that the project opened new doors for him and provided him with the opportunity to find employment. "This has been a stepping stone and made a huge difference to me and my family," said Mr. Ratt. He is now an exterior finisher with a local company.

More information about Canada's Economic Action Plan is available at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Program

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program is a nationally managed, opportunity-driven, project-based initiative that promotes increased participation of Aboriginal people in major economic developments through formalized partnerships between Aboriginal organizations and the private sector. The provinces and territories also contribute to the projects, and all partners must contribute at least 50 percent of the total cost of the project. The ASEP program supports multi-year training-to-employment strategies leading to long-term skilled jobs for Aboriginal people in existing and emerging industries.

ASEP was initially launched in 2003 as an $85-million, five-year program supporting nine projects that resulted in over 6,000 Aboriginal people receiving training, with more than 3,000 of them finding long-term sustainable jobs. In 2007, the ASEP program was extended to 2012, with an additional $105 million supporting sixteen more projects. Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing an additional $100 million over three years to help Aboriginal people participate in the workforce and make the most of employment opportunities.

Project Description

Over two years, the Fort-à-la-Corne Employment Development Partnership project will offer job readiness and skills training to Aboriginal people in northeast Saskatchewan. Participants will acquire skills to pursue full-time, sustainable employment in the Saskatchewan economy.

Project Sponsors

    *      Human Resources and Skills Development Canada: $7.5 million
    *      Post-secondary institutions: $3.8 million
    *      Private sector: $3 million
    *      Aboriginal organizations: $1.2 million





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