800 Aboriginal Peoples to receive additional training in mining

Governments of Canada, Saskatchewan funding $9.4 million

The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are providing additional funding to help Aboriginal Peoples in Saskatchewan be better equipped to find long-term employment.

Through the Skills and Partnership Fund, the federal government said it will help 800 Aboriginal people find jobs by investing more than $7.9 million in Northern Career Quest for its training-to-employment project in the mining industry.

Saskatchewan will also invest $1.5 million in the project through the Ministry of the Economy.

"Engaging our province's Aboriginal people in the economy is of great importance and is one of the highlights of our government's recently released growth plan," said legislative secretary to the premier for First Nations engagement Rob Norris on behalf of Saskatchewan Economy Minister Bill Boyd. "Strategic investments in initiatives like Northern Career Quest facilitate employment and will prove to be highly beneficial in helping to build Saskatchewan's Aboriginal workforce and in addressing our provincial labour force needs."

Northern Career Quest will provide classroom and on-site training and work experience in the mining industry. Over two years, participants will be trained in high-demand positions, such as mining technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders and office administrators.

The project will also be partly funded by industry partners, including Cameco and Areva, as well as Northlands College.

The initial success of the Northern Career Quest program has created about 1,450 jobs in northern Saskatchewan, according to Gary Merasty, Northern Career Quest chair and vice-president of corporate social responsibility at Cameco. "By going ahead with a second expanded program, communities, industry and government are ensuring that progress continues for First Nations and M├ętis people in northern Saskatchewan."

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