On April 10, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, announced the renewal of the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) with permanent funding of $50 million per year starting in 2016.
The announcement was made with the Native Council of Nova Scotia, which will receive $300,000 in SPF funding this year to help 20 Aboriginal people prepare for jobs in the oil and gas sector. While the SPF was originally set to expire March 31, 2015, the Government is providing $15 million of funding in the transition year (April 2015 to March 2016) for projects in priority sectors.
“The Native Council of Nova Scotia and our Aboriginal client group are very pleased to hear of the extension year approved for the Building Aboriginal Skills for Employment Program (BASE),” says Chief Grace Conrad, Native Council of Nova Scotia. “The BASE program will continue to assist our Aboriginal Peoples to gain employable skills to achieve long-term sustainable employment. Partnerships with industry made this a very successful program with great outcomes for our Peoples, and we look forward to the continued work with our new and existing industry partners.”
The SPF encourages Aboriginal organizations to create partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to improve skills training and create jobs and opportunities for Aboriginal people. This partnership-based fund responds to the changing needs and priorities of the labour market, while providing opportunities for Aboriginal people to fully participate in Canada’s economy, including preparing for jobs.
Funding will be awarded through a competitive process and organizations can expect a call for proposals in 2015 for projects that will begin in April 2016.