Canadian Manufacturing

Federal government calls on proposals to help increase skills development for indigenous people

by CM Staff   

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Through targeted projects, the SPF program will try and equip Indigenous people with the skills needed for in-demand jobs.

GATINEAU — Indigenous people continue to face multiple and persistent barriers to labour market entry and success. At the same time, Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is challenged by labour shortages in key sectors. For these reasons, the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous people and organizations to help prioritize their access to targeted skills development opportunities that they need to succeed.

On Feb. 28, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, launched an open call for proposals for the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF), a long-standing Indigenous labour market program that funds partnerships between Indigenous organizations and employers.

Through targeted projects, the SPF program will try and equip Indigenous people with the skills needed for in-demand jobs. The goal is to reduce the skills and employment gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and increase Indigenous participation in the labour market.

Priority will be given to projects that target the following sectors:


Green Economy – Industries that support the more efficient use and alternative sources of renewable energy;

Information and Communications Technology – Industries that support and contribute to the manufacturing of goods and/or the delivery of services related to broadband, connectivity, computers, software and other communications technology;

Infrastructure – Industries that support the construction, function and maintenance of physical infrastructure advancing Canada’s goals. They may also support the development of a community;

Blue Economy – Industries that support long-term growth in ocean-based sectors such as ocean-based energy, marine infrastructure, aquaculture, commercial fisheries, coastal and marine tourism and ocean technology; and

Indigenous Public Sector – Indigenous governments and public services owned and operated by Indigenous governments, such as law enforcement, emergency services, infrastructure, land administration, public transit, public education, child care and health care.

Indigenous organizations can apply by May 9 through Grants and Contributions Online Services, by e-mail or by mail. Visit the Skills and Partnership Fund for more information on how to apply as well as details on upcoming information sessions.

“Indigenous people in this country face barriers to employment that many non-Indigenous Canadians do not. Through the Skills and Partnership Fund, Indigenous people will gain in-demand skills and experience in priority areas identified by their communities. When more people are able to have a rewarding career and participate fully in Canada’s workforce, our entire country benefits.” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.


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