Dignitaries at the announcement of a Tłı̨chǫ apprenticeships program, including NWT MP Michael McLeod, second from left, and Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty, third from right. Brooklyn Connolly/Cabin Radio
Ottawa and the Tłı̨chǫ Government say a new partnership will help Tłı̨chǫ businesses hire 30 first-year apprentices in red-seal trades.
The $2.4-million Tłı̨chǫ Trades Apprenticeship Program will give small and medium-sized businesses financial incentives and help them hire apprentices who need hands-on experience and training.
Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty said the program would “fill gaps in an in-demand job market.”
At a news conference on Thursday, Lafferty said a range of trades are “very much needed in Tłı̨chǫ communities, especially in the most isolated communities.”
He encouraged Tłı̨chǫ residents to apply for the apprenticeships that will be created and said the program formed part of a “long-term strategy to build on existing skills and Tłı̨chǫ workers and build Tłı̨chǫ communities.”
NWT MP Michael McLeod said programs like this were how the NWT could “make sure we have more electricians, welders, bricklayers and other skilled trade workers.”
He said that with the NWT’s employment rate at its highest for more than a decade – meaning that in some communities, barely anyone is currently without a job – the territory’s shortage of workers had been made “very clear.”
“We need more skilled people on the ground,” he said. “We have $1.5 billion of infrastructure projects yet to be delivered, and we have close to half a billion dollars’ worth of housing units that have to be built.
“We’re going to need workers right across the North. We need workers in every community.”