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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Saskatchewan

ASEP PARTNERSHIP BRINGS NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO FIRST NATIONS AND MÉTIS PEOPLE

A new partnership between the provincial government, federal government, First Nations and Métis leadership, Saskatchewan training institutions and the residential construction industry will result in training and work experience for under-employed First Nations and Métis people.

Bridges and Foundations for Aboriginal Development, a three-year agreement developed under the Government of Canada's Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP), will provide approximately 400 First Nations and Métis people in Saskatchewan with training and work experience related to the construction of affordable housing.

"Bolstering education and employment opportunities for First Nations and Métis people is an important priority for our government," Advanced Education and Employment Minister Rob Norris said. "This project is a major initiative for our province, the home building industry and most especially 400 young Aboriginal people."

The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $2.3 million in the project over three years, with the federal government contributing nearly $3 million, and an additional $1 million from Aboriginal partner organizations and the private sector.

"This is a great opportunity for First Nations and Métis people to access training so they can find jobs in a vibrant sector in our economy," First Nations and Métis Relations Minister June Draude said. "This timely support from the federal government enables us to continue our drive to engage First Nations and Métis people in Saskatchewan's growing economy."

Bridges and Foundations for Aboriginal Development is a result of the leadership role played by the Saskatoon and Region Homebuilders Association, which has been working in partnership with the provincial government to bring youth, Aboriginal people and immigrants into housing industry careers.

"First Nations and Métis engagement in our province's growing residential construction sector is an imperative recognized by all partners in this project," Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association CEO Alan Thomarat said. "Our industry is delighted to see this valuable project come to fruition, and look forward to tangible results, sustainable careers, and the construction of quality homes in all communities, further strengthening the strong economy throughout Saskatchewan."

Project participants will gain experience as carpenters or within carpentry sub-trades such as framing, concrete forming, exterior and interior finishing. After assessment and skill-based training, they will be prepared for Saskatchewan's workforce.

"This investment demonstrates, once again, our government's commitment to act on the recommendations of the Task Force on Affordable Housing, such as building capacity in the skilled homebuilding trades through public-private partnerships," Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said. "Investing in the development of a skilled workforce helps ensure a bright future for our young people and supports the long-term growth and prosperity of the entire province."

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For more information, contact:

Christopher Jones-Bonk
Advanced Education, Employment and Labour
Regina
Phone: 306-798-3106
Email: chris.jones-bonk@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-531-4904

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