To support the growth of Indigenous communities and foster lifelong learning, skills development and training, the Government of Canada has committed to the creation of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program, the successor to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS). The newly introduced “First Nations Labour Market Strategy (FNLMS)” is a distinctions‑based strategy under the ISET Program. The FNLMS reflects the Government’s commitment to a renewed relationship with First Nations, one that is framed by principles of reconciliation, including recognition of rights, respect, co‑operation, partnership and self‑determination. This transformational approach to Indigenous labour market programing will support preparation for the increased transfer of First Nations labour market development programs to First Nations governments and mandated organizations.
The FNLMS places emphasis on overall client outcomes, ultimately leading to improved skills, employment, and earnings by recognizing incremental successes and capturing the progression of clients along their skills development and employment path. The new approach has a stronger focus on assisting First Nations gain greater and transferrable skills that will support their employment path and long‑term career success by securing jobs in a wide range of sectors. Another key component of the strategy is a continued focus on providing a comprehensive suite of wrap‑around supports to First Nations clients. By addressing barriers to employment, the FNLMS not only contributes to improved employment outcomes, but also to building stronger First Nations.
The FNLMS, supported through the ISET Program, will help close the skills, employment and earning gaps between First Nations and non‑Indigenous people through supporting training for employment, including that linked to traditional economies, as well as assisting clients to gain transferrable skills and find jobs that will support their employment and long‑term career success in a wide range of sectors. The FNLMS will support First Nations clients with customized, culturally‑appropriate wrap‑around services that will help address barriers to employment and increase employability.
The First Nations served by PGNAETA, are situated in the northern interior of British Columbia. Each demonstrates a unique labour market situation and although there are similarities in labour force need, also express unique needs and challenges facing their respective labour forces. Each of the Nations is committed to implementing a progressive approach to achieve advanced skills and serve its citizens by providing services that are equitable, appropriate and relevant to industry and safety certification.
Under the new initiative, First Nations served by PGNAETA will design a local 5-10 year Strategic Framework, which can then be accompanied by yearly operational plans. Each Nation designs a community based strategy which identifies programs and services based on citizen and labour market need. First Nations are encouraged to seek partnership funding and where practical and feasible, utilize their allocation for leverage funding. Partnership often includes other federal programs, province resources, industry, unions and in some cases municipal government.
A “Strategic Planning Wheel” has been developed to assist First Nations as a guideline for planning sessions. Components include:
PGNAETA's purpose is to support the communities of Lake Babine Nation, Kwadacha Nation, Nak'azdli Whut'en, Tl’azt'en Nation and Saik'uz First Nation with a total of 112 childcare seats as part of the grandfather arrangement. The use of incremental funds will support essential upgrades to other First Nation communities operating child care or Aboriginal headstart sites. The incremental funds will also sponsor an Early Childcare Licensing forum. PGNAETA will seek partnership funding from federal and provincial agencies to assist with the cost of the forum.