Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has made a commitment in its mandate to take steps to close the skills gap using the Skills 4 Success Strategic Framework. I am pleased to advise Members that later today I will be tabling the Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020, which outlines what we will do to improve employment success for the people of the Northwest Territories. This is an important milestone in meeting our mandate commitment.
The Action Plan aligns with the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework and contains four goals related to skills development, streamlined supports, NWT workforce partnerships, and labour market information. Together, these will help us achieve the vision that NWT residents have the skills, knowledge and attitudes for employment success. We have focused the Action Plan 2016-2020 on jobs that are in-demand, to prepare NWT residents for the many employment opportunities that exist today and will be needed in the future.
Mr. Speaker, we want Northern residents to be first in line for jobs in the NWT. We also want to help build and expand a skilled workforce to meet our future labour demand. To do this, we must ensure that our education and training system keeps pace with the changing dynamics of our labour market, so that NWT residents gain the necessary education and skills required to be successful in their employment pursuits.
Mr. Speaker, Action Plan 2016-2020 will do just that. It contains a manageable number of planned actions for the next four years. We chose these actions based on extensive research on adult and postsecondary education and training, feedback from informed stakeholder engagements, and evidence contained in the comprehensive up-to-date labour market information for the NWT. This combined evidence shaped our decisions and provides a solid path to identify and implement appropriate programs and supports to prepare residents for future employment opportunities.
We have reached this milestone with the support of many stakeholders who have provided their input. Our work involved a series of public engagements and regional focus groups, a territorial symposium, meetings and online surveys. We captured feedback from more than one thousand residents and organizations, including educators, trainers, students, apprentices, job seekers, employers, employees, policy makers and retirees.
During the course of the Action Plan’s development we heard a call to build a strong culture of education that is linked to employment. This is reflected prominently in Action Plan 2016-2020.
Through all our engagements all partners expressed a willingness to continue working together. I cannot stress this more emphatically, Mr. Speaker, for this is the key to successfully implementing Action Plan 2016-2020 and achieving the Strategic Framework’s goals and priorities. The Action Plan places priority on growing the NWT workforce through partnerships. I am encouraged by the support that the Department received when we proposed collaborating with partners, to reduce duplication and focus resources for improved education, training and employment outcomes for NWT residents.
Skills 4 Success builds on a continuum of education strategies that are essential for education and employment success in the NWT. Over the next four years we will continue to take the steps necessary to support NWT residents so that they have the skills for success to be first in line for employment opportunities in this territory.
Our success will be measured by how well we work together to implement the actions in the plan, and I call on all partners with an interest in improving our system to join us in this work.
I am confident we can accomplish our goals when we all pull in the same direction.
Mr. Speaker, I think we are on a solid path with Action Plan 2016-2020 and I look forward to working with Members to implementing it.
Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.