Apr 3, 2020
Posted in: Training and Employment
We are currently in a time of unprecedented Federal investment in labour market programming and Métis education. A shift in the Government of Canada policy – from rapid reemployment to a greater goal of closing the education, employment, and earning gaps between Métis and non-Indigenous people – has created significant opportunity for GDI as a whole. The Institute’s ability to create or support meaningful, long-term change in our communities has been unchained from previous restrictions.
So what are we doing at GDI Training & Employment with our newfound freedom? Our mission has not changed; we are still focused on expanding the possibilities for our Métis clients, while preserving our culture and heritage. We have increased funding to students pursuing post-secondary education and expanded wage subsidy programming to create more jobs for Métis. Further, we are now able to continue to support Métis business owners through those tough first years.
In early March, I spoke at the Métis Economic Development Conference, Building Wealth for the Métis Nation, as part of a panel of Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Agreement holders. The panel spoke to initiatives underway that would promote Métis economic development and business ownership.
Over the past decade, GDI has supported the advancement of Indigenous apprentices through to Journeyperson certification. But, we didn’t want to stop at employment – we insisted on continuing our model of relentless support to empower our Journeyperson clients to become employers themselves.
The GDI Pathways for Entrepreneurship Project started three years ago. The project was designed to fill the gaps left by other service providers and ensure that our people are successful not only in starting their business, but also in successfully maintaining their businesses long term. From business basics, to first-year financial statements, we are providing the program and services to support the success of our new Métis entrepreneurs.
We’re working closely with our partners Clarence Campeau Development Fund, Saskmetis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO), and the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), to identify the best supports for new business owners – whether that’s through supporting the acquisition of business skills, ensuring our client is the most qualified business owner in their industry, or simply providing some financial reprieve to entrepreneurs just starting the transition of working for someone else, to working for themselves.
Our future is bright at GDI Training & Employment. We are looking to expand our Pathways for Entrepreneurship project into a second phase to create even more opportunities for our Métis clients to go full circle from student to mentor, and from employee to employer.