Apprenticeships are a priority across Canada. Many trade workers today will be retiring in the next ten years leading to a shortage of skilled workers. According to HRSDC, by 2013, there will be 19,500 more jobs in the skilled trades than workers to fill them. The Aboriginal population is the fasting growing demographic group. Youth are looking for meaningful career opportunities. This is an area which needs to be addressed.

AHRDA’s including Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong have focused a lot of their investment on upgrading and skill training in other training areas without much direct emphasis on promoting stronger initiatives aimed at apprenticeships. Time was spent on “catching up” with skill levels required to participate in mainstream labour force demands.

In order to ensure that our Apprenticeship strategy is meeting the goals that it intends to achieve, more resources and capacity building are required to move from skills training focus towards building a comprehensive collaboration and implementation of the strategy with all partners.

While it is recognized that additional resources are required, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong has acquired the “knowledge and experience” capacity to move forward with a Treaty 3 specified Apprenticeship Strategy. The Board of Director’s governance structure ensures representation from throughout the Treaty 3 area. Individual members bring a multitude of diverse interests and experiences in small business, service delivery in various sectors and community involvement including political.

The Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong Apprenticeship Strategy is divided into several components:

  • Education – promote awareness of apprentice and current programs and systems in place;
  • Promotion – to promote apprenticeship as a meaningful career choice;
  • Partnerships – to actively establish partnerships with all relevant stakeholders that are consistent with the strategy’s goals and objectives;
  • Research/Design – to undertake ongoing research and design initiatives that will enable the strategy to be more effective;
  • Government Policy – To communicate and effect change with government to ensure Aboriginal access and participation in apprenticeships

For more information on apprenticeships please contact the program officer for your area.


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