Have you heard about the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) programs?

ASETS programs help Aboriginal people find work or upgrade their skills!

The facts are clear. The 2006 Census estimates the Aboriginal population at close to four percent of the total Canadian population, or over one million people. The Aboriginal population is also growing more quickly than the non-Aboriginal population, especially in younger age groups. It is expected to account for 12.7 per cent of labour force growth and 11.3 per cent of employment growth between 2006 and 2026. Without a doubt, Aboriginal people represent an important contribution to the current and future workforce.

While governments, businesses and others recognize that Aboriginal people play an important role in addressing the looming labour shortages in the upcoming years, the difficulties they have had accessing the labour market are well documented. Thus, investments in programs and training such as the ASETS help Aboriginal people acquire skills that are most in demand and improve their access to economic opportunities.

There are currently 13 First Nation ASETS funded providers of training and employment services for Aboriginal people in BC. The providers serve 203 First Nation communities, individuals off and on reserve in BC, and Inuit people. The ASETS agreement holders take an integrated approach to Aboriginal labour market programming. The providers design and deliver employment programs and services that best meet both the needs of their clients and the local labour market conditions.

For more information on employment programs and training for Aboriginal job seekers, contact the ASETS agreement holder in your area.

The ASETS agreement holders in BC formed Indigenous Works, formerly known as the Aboriginal Human Resource Council, which serves as a centralized voice and body to champion training for Aboriginal people that is responsive to local industry and employer needs. Indigenous Works fosters partnerships with industries, employers and governments to help identify the workforce skills they need and to create opportunities for both Aboriginal people and businesses.

In developing these collaborative partnerships and relationships with key partners, Indigenous Works (formerly known as the Aboriginal Human Resource Council) and its ASETS agreement holders are making progress towards better Aboriginal participation in the labour market and ultimately better employment outcomes for Aboriginal job seekers.

For more information about Indigenous Works, the “Go to Body” for Aboriginal employment and training initiatives in BC, visit their website.

ASETS is funded by the Government of Canada through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. ASETS focuses on three strategic pillars: demand driven skills development, partnerships, and accountability for improved results. ASETS is the successor program to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, which expired March 2010. More information can be found here.