Canada’s human resources minister yesterday announced funding to promote apprenticeship and trades programs for Aboriginal people in the province.

The Aboriginal Human Resource Council will receive $670,000 in federal dollars and $150,000 from the province to implement the Nova Scotia Coordinated Aboriginal Apprenticeship and Trades Strategy, which kicked off at the beginning of May.

Minister Monte Solberg’s announcement at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel was part of an overall speech about impending labour shortages in the province and across the country.


“Our problem is that we have too few workers with too few skills to meet the demand,” he told the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

And as the baby boomers head toward retirement, the problem will only get worse, he said.
The strategy and funding will provide career opportunities for Aboriginal people while at the same time helping to fill the shortage of skilled trades workers in the province.

“This is very exciting news,” said Valerie Whynot, a job developer with the
Native Council of Nova Scotia.

She said with the strategy in place, native youths and young adults are starting to learn more about the trade industry and the funding will only help increase this awareness.

“There’s good wages in the trades now and I think that’s what’s starting to change things around,” she said.

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