Government Investment In Skills Training For Aboriginal People In The Mining Sector

How skills training will help to decrease unemployment and increase development within aboriginal communities

Currently one-fifth of the Canadian labour market is showing signs of skilled labour shortages. As a result the Government has designated increased funding into skills training programs, however even with this surplus of jobs the Canadian unemployment rate among Canadians has only decreased by 0.5% to 7%. In addition to this, according to Employment and Social Development Canada the unemployment rate among Aboriginal people has remained virtually unchanged. Faced by these gaps, the Federal Government is working in partnership with Aboriginal Organizations to address critical skills hortages. 

With unemployment rates reaching rates as high as 12.8% in Northern Ontario, emphasis has been placed on skills development within this region. On April 4th, 2014 the Hon. Greg Rickford, P.C., MP-Kenora, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, announced on behalf of the Hon.  Jason Kenney, announced that the Ministry of Employment and Social Development would be contributing resources of $5.2 million to the Seven Generations Education Institute in Kenora through the Skills and Partnership Fund to provide skills training and work experiences to Aboriginal participants in the mining industry. 
A portion of the funding will be going towards The Hospitality Skills for Camp Services program (HSCS), designed in partnership with the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC). The 11-week program supports the hiring and retention of workers in housekeeping, camp cooking/catering, and food and beverage services. HSCS focuses on the skill development of new workers entering the remote hospitality services sector (camp services), in addition to developing the skills required for traditional hospitality and food and beverage services positions by offering participants the opportunity to receive training in emerit Workplace Essentials, emerit Canadian Workplace Essentials, Service Excellence, “In Good Hands” Safe Food Handling, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and CPR & First Aid. The course begins with the knowledge, certifications and soft skills needed to be successful in any workplace, then enables students to specialize in one of the three occupational fields - Remote Line Cook, Remote Housekeeping Room Attendant, and Food and Beverage Server. 

Corresponding with the funding announcement was a 5-day OTEC Designated Trainer Program which provided the two Hospitality Skills for Camp Services program instructors with the training tools on how to effectively deliver program content to the mining industry. Additionally, this program 2 equipped the instructors with adult learning principles and the resources on how to create a learner centric environment. 

The first cohort of students will begin training in Spring 2014. For more information please contact:

Adam Morrison 
Director, Project Development 
P. 416-622-1975 ext. 236 • F. 416-622-7476 • E. 
or visit 

About OTEC 

Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) is an Ontario-based independent, not-for-profit training, consulting & workforce development organization that delivers high quality, creative solutions for the development and growth of a professional, skilled workforce. It is the leading source support for companies to attract, retain, and develop high performing employees and become Employer of Choice organizations. OTEC is the premier source for customer service training, interpersonal skills training, human resources management training, program development, certification and education products and services for a wide range of industry sectors. 
For more information on OTEC’s products and services please go to or contact: 
Paula Lanza - Marketing and Communications Coordinator 
P. 416-622-1975 ext. 222 • T.F. 1-800-557-6832 • F. 416-622-7476