Building a Skilled Native Workforce

Some of the challenges around building a ‘skilled native workforce’ include employer expectations – employers are wanting to have 10 or 20 or 30 skilled people from whom to choose staff.

Our numbers of Indigenous people in North America are rarely able to offer those numbers of skilled workers to one employer. Keeping in mind that there are approximately 1.4 million Indigenous people in total in Canada, approximately 40{62de5bde3b84fd7379fc2f8072f5b18478a14609f05a190db0183dce83778ef7} of First Nations people live on federally recognized Indian reserves and Population. 6.6 million. The nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up about 2.0 percent of the total population in 2015. 78{62de5bde3b84fd7379fc2f8072f5b18478a14609f05a190db0183dce83778ef7} of Native Americans live outside a reservation.

Once these numbers are broken down to exclude those who are not of working age, it is very evident that there are not a huge number of employable people available, let alone huge numbers of ‘skilled’ people.

While successes continue and education and skills attainment increase, there are still small numbers available, especially when considering competition from other areas of the population.

This issue looks at some of the successes and also some of the obstacles faced by our people when trying to break the barriers to become part of the ‘skilled native workforce’.