Jan 16, 2017
Posted in: Apprenticeship
By Chelsie Scragg and James Oloo
GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project is a three year initiative (2014-2017) aimed at increasing Aboriginal participation in apprenticeable trades in Saskatchewan. The project is funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada and is a partnership involving employers, the industry, and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission.
As of December 2016, the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project has met and surpassed four out of five performance indicators. GDIT&E has partnered with 233 employers in 29 different trades (surpassing the target of 100 employer partners in 15 different trades). A total of 356 new trades-related jobs have been created across Saskatchewan – which is 237 percent of the targeted 150 new jobs. Further, 114 participants have been indentured with the SATCC as apprentices (114 percent of the project’s target of 100). Another 76 indentured apprentices have completed at least one term of technical training, surpassing the target of 50.
We are at 80 percent of the project goal of having 50 Aboriginal participants complete trades-related General Educational Development (GED). According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, GED tests measure the academic skills and knowledge expected of the province’s high school graduates. The program is intended to give an opportunity to those who do not meet requirement of Grade 12 education to join the GDI Aboriginal Apprenticeship Project.
Two intakes of the trades-related GED program were offered, one in Saskatoon and one in Prince Albert. In Saskatoon, 25 Aboriginal individuals started the program and 22 completed, for a completion rate of 88%. For Prince Albert, 32 started and 18 completed – a 56% completion rate. In total, 57 Aboriginal individuals started the trades-related GED and 40 (or 70.2%) successfully completed the program in less than one year, a completion rate that indicates a commendable effort when compared to the provincial rates. In 2010-2011, for example, the average Adult Basic Education completion rate for Saskatchewan was 63.6 percent. The completion rate for Indigenous students was 37.4%. A third cohort of the GED is currently being offered in Pinehouse. We anticipate that we will soon meet and /or surpass all of the project targets.