by Erin Strachan
October 1, 2018
The past few weeks have been a blur of activity, launching our Nunavut pre-employment training programs in five communities. Program intake is now wrapping up for Inuit with disabilities or barriers to employment in Iqaluit, Kugluktuk, and Cape Dorset, and for Inuit youth ages 18-29 in Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay.
Our awesome team of instructors are leading the way alongside local Administrative and Classroom Assistants who have been hired to support the projects and the participants. We are so proud of the teams and of the newly selected participants who are beginning to jump into this learning experience with both feet for the next 12 weeks. What are they going to learn? How could this program change their lives?
We have been delivering these programs since the fall of 2016 with funding support from the Nunavut Department of Family Services (DFS) Career Development division. So far, we have completed eight programs across the territory since the pilot program. The goal of these programs is to help Inuit participants gain the skills, experience and confidence to take on important roles in their communities. Working with a small but dedicated team, we have achieved strong results so far. PMC has:
- Trained roughly 128 Inuit in pre-employment skills who face multiple barriers to employment
- Graduated 82 participants, plus an additional 28 completed four weeks or more (64% full completion)
- 47 obtained jobs following graduation (includes full-time, part-time and casual)
- 41 graduates have applied to return to school
- Assisted participants in fundraising over $30,000 for local community causes
- Facilitated participants’ gaining confidence and work experience
- Connected participants to local employers and service providers to strengthen relationships
- Assisted participants in coordinating both Inuit cultural and community events
For me personally, I am honoured to do this work. I am proud of the team and what we’ve been able to accomplish together. I had my daughter 3.5 years ago and she travelled with me to Baker Lake to deliver the pilot program; since then I gave birth to my son in January. In a way I kind of feel like these projects are another child, that I had between my two “real” babies!
These programs are difficult to deliver in remote communities where resources can be scarce and participants face significant barriers and life challenges. Our teams have also overcome challenges to deliver the programs, putting in long hours each day and week to create positive learning environments for our participants and make a difference in their lives. Our huge efforts are matched by our participants’ efforts to improve themselves personally and professionally and take on important roles in their communities.
I want to share a story of one young graduate from one of our youth programs. A young woman and a mother, she was struggling to find a job and lacked a lot of purpose in her life. At times she felt hopeless and depressed. But she had the guts to apply to the program and stuck it out right til the very end. Week by week, she built confidence in her own abilities and developed a sense of purpose. After graduating, she applied to Nunavut Arctic College and also applied for jobs in her community. We were there to support her as she did interviews and entrance tests for college. This spring we got a message from her saying that on the very same day she received both a job offer and her acceptance letter into college! She was so excited for this next phase of her life, full of purpose and confidence.
To all our graduates and newly accepted participants for this fall: we are so proud of you!
Members of our team will be writing blog posts in the weeks to come to share more about our experience delivering the training programs. We look forward to sharing this learning journey with you.
Manager, Indigenous Capacity-Building Programs
Performance Management Consultants
More about Erin here