Paulie Chinna: Training and Apprenticeships – Northwest Territories Housing Corporation

Déclarations et discours de ministres

Yellowknife — 3 juin 2021

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Mr. Speaker, like all of us here today, I recognize the importance of and value education and its role in creating long term successes for our residents and our territory. I am pleased to say that the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, through its apprenticeship program, also reflects this value while also working hard to improve housing for many Northwest Territories residents.

It is important to highlight providing opportunities like the apprenticeship program does not happen without collaboration. The NWT Housing Corporation works with the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment on this initiative, providing an opportunity to highlight the successes that can be achieved.

Mr. Speaker, the NWT Housing Corporation aims to hire 12 apprenticeship positions to work with Local Housing Organizations across the NWT. These apprentices are obtaining valuable classroom training while also being mentored by certified trade professionals.

These apprentices are already making valuable contributions to the people of the NWT,
they are working diligently to learn and build up their skills.  In addition to supporting apprenticeship assignments at Local Housing Organizations the Housing Corporation is also asking general contractors bidding on new housing construction contracts to support at least one apprentice over the life of the project.   From April 2020 to May 2021, this approach has already supported 13 apprentices working on a variety of construction projects throughout the NWT.

I am a firm believer in the work these apprentices do and have seen the impact of their work first-hand in many small communities across our territory. Being an apprentice is often one of the first steps in a lifetime of work in the trades. Since 2007, 19 apprentices that have worked with Local Housing Organizations are now journey certified. This includes a plumber in Behchokǫ̀, an oil burner mechanic in Délı̨nę, a carpenter in Fort Smith, and a housing maintenance serviceperson in Paulatuk.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the role the Housing Corporation has played in the careers of these journeypersons. I want to see more of this important work, I am pleased to note that under the NWTHC’s 4-year business plan we intend to increase the number of NWT Journey Certified Apprentices by 10.  Through the NWT Housing Corporations continued partnership work with ECE, our general contractors and others.

I look forward to coming back to the House and providing an update on the apprenticeship program to further highlight the successes of this program. I am confident we will continue to increase the number of certified apprentices and celebrate the skilled tradespeople of the NWT.

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.