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Invest in aboriginal communities for future labour: report

While more layoffs seem to be imminent in the immediate future, Albertais going to need about 90,000 employees over the long term if we wantour economy to keep up.

While more layoffs seem to be imminent in the immediate future, Alberta is going to need about 90,000 employees over the long term if we want our economy to keep up.

"This presents a unique opportunity for forward-thinking companies to position themselves and adapt HR policies to tap into untapped workforces before the next economic surge," said Ben Brunnen, the author of a new Chamber of Commerce report.

That report identifies Alberta's aboriginal community as the largest untapped labour force.

Treaty 7 Grand Chief Charles Weaselhead of the Blood Tribe said he wants to see his people as a mainstay in Alberta's workforce.

"If you invest in our people, we can provide the labour force," he said. "But it needs to be trained."

Business and First Nation leaders, aboriginal service providers and government officials gathered in Calgary to discuss how to improve labour market outcomes at a symposium Thursday.

The report found increasing aboriginal employment rates to similar levels of the non-aboriginal population may provide more than 14, 000 additional workers toward the provincial economy.

 
 
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