Nunavut trade school will tackle labour shortage

Northern initiatives will help Aboriginals, women get into skilled trades
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/18/2006

When Tim Innualuk wanted to train to become an electrician in 1985, he had to leave his home of Pond Inlet on the northern tip of Baffin Island, in what was then still the Northwest Territories, and travel 2,100 kilometres to Aurora College in Fort Smith, N.W.T. For his final two terms of training he had to travel again, this time more than 2,600 kilometres to Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta.

While the territory in which he grew up is now called Nunavut, little else has changed. Residents who want to become a journeyman in any trade except carpentry still have to leave the territory to complete the training. And unfortunately not everyone is as inclined to travel as Innualuk.

“People in Nunavut are more inclined to stay in Nunavut, particularly in their home community,” said Mac Clendenning, president of Nunavut Arctic College. “That’s why it’s important for us to have this school in the territory. It allows them to get the training they need without leaving and be able to access the jobs we know are there and will be there when they complete the training.”