Jackson Lafferty: Skills 4 Success

7 octobre 2015
Déclarations et discours de ministres

Mr. Speaker, later today I will be tabling the Skills 4 Success 10-Year Strategic Framework. This Framework capitalizes on the skills, knowledge and talents of the people of the Northwest Territories, the number one resource behind our economy and sustainable communities.

Over the past year, we engaged with many stakeholders for input and feedback on the development of the Framework. We met with business, industry, Aboriginal governments, the federal government, non-governmental organizations, youth, job seekers, communities, and education partners. Their collective knowledge helped identify new strategic directions for adult and postsecondary education programs, supports and pathways in the NWT.

In the spring, we held the first Skills 4 Success symposium. Nearly 170 labour market, education and training partners attended. We heard a collective call for change and the need to build a strong culture of education and employment. It was extremely productive, with robust discussions, feedback, shared experiences and a commitment to demonstrate leadership for change. A full results report from the Symposium is available online.

Mr. Speaker, this government also partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to examine the NWT’s forecasted labour demands over the coming years.  We have learned that over the next 15 years, approximately 75 percent of job opportunities will require college, apprenticeship or university education.   Job opportunities open to people with less than a high school education is forecasted to be less than 10 percent.

This is a challenge for the NWT, as some residents require training and further education to be considered for an available job. The demand for skilled labour will only intensify in the coming years when more people retire from the labour market.

Skill development starts at the earliest ages. The GNWT is making progress with comprehensive early childhood development initiatives, and improvements to the K-12 education system. The Skills 4 Success Framework will build on these efforts and drive change to improve student transitions and pathways to advanced education and careers aligning with labour market demands and opportunities.

The four goals of the Framework provide a solid foundation for ‘what’ we have to do: increase skill levels through relevant education and training; bridge education and employment gaps through targeted supports; grow the NWT workforce through partnerships; and improve decision-making with relevant  labour market information. Placing priority on skill development and closing education and employment gaps will help drive positive social and economic outcomes across the North.

Mr. Speaker, making generational change will require strong leadership at all levels. The Framework is the first step in a 10-year process. Leading into the 18th Legislative Assembly, we will develop concrete actions on how we plan to achieve our vision, goals and priorities.

We want everyone to have opportunities to succeed in life, whether it is advancing their education, gaining employment, or seizing a business opportunity. Providing these opportunities through partnership, comprehensive information and strategically developed programs is critical to our overall success as a territory, and we are acting on the call to create those opportunities.

Masi, Mr. Speaker.