Robert C. McLeod: Canada’s Top Employer of Young People and Best Diversity Employer for 2018

Delivered on March 6, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Government of the Northwest Territories has been selected as one of Canada’s Top Employers in two categories for 2018, Canada’s Top Employer of Young People and Canada’s Best Diversity Employer.

Mr. Speaker, this is the fourth time the GNWT has been selected as one of Canada’s Top Employers of Young People. This prestigious designation recognizes employers that offer the nation’s best workplaces and programs for young people who are starting their careers.  It reaffirms that the GNWT remains one of Canada’s leaders in attracting and retaining younger employees within our organization.

The Department of Finance continues to manage numerous programs and initiatives aimed at creating employment opportunities for northern students, and helping to provide diverse work experiences for young people.  These include:

  • The Summer Student Employment Program, which provided valuable work experience to 349 students last summer. This is more students then we have hired in any year over the past five years.
  • The Internship program was recently revised and now will provide support for approximately 70 northern graduates to gain the work experience within the GNWT that will support them moving into permanent placements with our public service.
  • The Department of Finance also continues to work in partnership with Education, Culture and Employment and other departments to communicate programs and initiatives to northern students to help them set and achieve their career goals.

Mr. Speaker, our programs help these young people, but they also help our government. The young people are the future of our public service and the GNWT is committed to attracting our Northern youth to the public service and to providing opportunities for growth and development throughout their careers.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT has also been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the sixth time. This recognition places the GNWT among an exclusive group of Canadian employers who have demonstrated a commitment to creating and maintaining inclusive workplaces.

The GNWT has undertaken a number of initiatives to foster a diverse and an inclusive workforce. These include:

  • Formalizing within the 2018-2019 Main Estimates our Diversity and Inclusion Unit within the Department of Finance to support our programs and services related to diversity and inclusion.
  • The GNWT’s Advisory Committee on Employability which provides advice on ways to promote, support and increase the representation of persons with disabilities in the GNWT workforce, reduce stigma, and foster a spirit of inclusion.
  • The Indigenous Employees Advisory Committee which provides advice on ways to help increase workforce representation of Indigenous peoples at all levels in the public service and to create a working environment that supports and promotes Aboriginal employees in the GNWT.
  • Finally, a range of programs and services related to diversity and inclusion that includes the Regional Recruitment Program, the new program to add training positions, enhanced training and awareness campaigns related to diversity and inclusion, and, of course, our Affirmative Action Policy.

Mr. Speaker, while these awards highlight the achievements of the GNWT in these areas, we recognize that there is still more work to do. These awards may be confirmation that government-wide we are taking the right steps to make progress, but we will not stop here. This government will continue to ensure sustained efforts on these fronts.

 Thank you, Mr. Speaker.