The Province is working with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) to study labour market trends and needs.
The $320,000 project will hire researchers and field interviewers to carry out up to 1,000 interviews with employers, small businesses and community members to find the best way to move forward with aboriginal workforce development.
Ten area First Nations are involved: the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Lheidli T’enneh Band, McLeod Lake Band, Nadleh Whut’en Band, Nak’azdli Band, Saik’uz First Nation, Stellat’en First Nation, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Yekooche First Nation.
Jobs Minister Shirley Bond says BC is expected to have almost one million job openings by 2024.
“Whether or not economic growth is as significant as we hope it will be, we still have a challenge because of an aging demographic. So we are working very hard to make sure that everyone that is currently under represented in the workforce has the opportunity to work here in BC.”
Bond says First Nations, women and people with disabilities are some of the most underrepresented members of society. With 50% of BC’s indigenous population under the age of 25, she says provide a great opportunity to fill the gap.
The results of the study is due out in October.