Tapping the Aboriginal labour market

Strong social ties help retain Aboriginal workers
By Susan Singh
|CHRR, Report on Recruitment & Staffing|Last Updated: 05/21/2006

There is a real disconnect between employers and the Aboriginal labour market, says Kelly Lendsay, president and CEO of the Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada (AHRDCC).

“In an environment of skills and labour shortages, companies should be looking for every undiscovered and untapped labour pool they can find,” he says. “This means thinking about what the Aboriginal community has to offer to employers.”

With 50 per cent under the age of 25, the Aboriginal population is growing at twice the rate of the Canadian population. Despite common perception, the majority live in cities. Aboriginal populations constitute 13 per cent of Saskatoon and 15 per cent of Regina. Winnipeg has 60,000 Aboriginal residents, and numbers are growing in other centres such as Sudbury, Ont., and Hamilton.