Paulie Chinna: Apprentices – Northwest Territories Housing Corporation

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — March 31, 2022

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Mr. Speaker, education is very valuable and important in creating long-term success for our residents. To address ongoing shortages of qualified trade workers in NWT communities, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is committed to supporting training for apprentices.

The NWT Housing Corporation continues to work with the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment to promote and coordinate the NWT Housing Corporation apprenticeship program in order to secure additional candidates throughout the NWT. The NWT Housing Corporation aims to hire up to 12 Local Housing Organization apprenticeship positions in total this year 

Local Housing Organizations currently employ over 40 journey-certified staff in various trades that will support apprentice assignment opportunities in the future. The demand for apprentices at Local Housing Organizations will be reviewed as part of the LHO engagement aspect of the NWT Housing Corporation Renewal Strategy.

Mr. Speaker, currently the NWT Housing Corporation has eight apprentices, with LHO staff in Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Sachs Harbour and Lutselk’e set up to write the trade entrance exam for Housing Maintenance Serviceperson. Through our contractors we have 25 apprentices currently working on Housing Corporation projects.

By 2024 the NWT Housing Corporation is committed to increasing the number of journey-certified apprentices by 10 by requiring at least one apprentice for all housing projects.
In addition, through our contracts there have been 33 work placements for apprentices as a part of NWTHC’s new construction contract work since April 1, 2020. Being an apprentice is often one of the first steps in a lifetime of work in the trades.

Mr. Speaker, the NWT Housing Corporation aims to support apprenticeship opportunities across all regions of the Northwest Territories.  Despite challenges due to shortages of apprenticeship applicants and certified skilled workers available to serve as their mentors and supervisors, the Housing Corporation is committed to this program.

The Housing Corporation is happy to announce that two apprentices have been journey-certified since April of 2021. The first was a Housing Maintenance Serviceperson in Norman Wells who gained their journeyperson certificate on April 1, 2021. The second gained their journeyperson certificate as an Oil Burner Mechanic in Yellowknife at the end of October 2021. Since this program started in 2007 the Housing Corporation has seen a total of 21 people receive their journeyperson certification.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the role the Housing Corporation plays in the training and education of new apprentices across the Northwest Territories. We will continue to work with our colleagues at Education, Culture, and Employment on the apprenticeship program as we work towards increasing the number of certified apprentices and celebrate the skilled tradespeople across the NWT.

Being from a small community myself, I have seen first-hand the importance that skilled tradespeople play in our communities. The apprenticeship program not only helps improve housing in the short-term but provides apprentices with the skills and education to continue improving housing in the future as well. I am looking forward to seeing the good work these apprentices will do across the NWT.

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.