Making Aboriginal Employment Work for You
An integral and vital part of societies in Canada, Aboriginal peoples offer unique advantages to Canadian employers.
Today, Aboriginal peoples are an economic power, eager to assume an active role in the country's economy. As a group, they represent an increasingly educated, readily available workforce.
Aboriginal peoples make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the population, increasing at almost twice the national average.
The benefits of hiring Aboriginal peoples go well beyond simply gaining access to their diverse skills. As those who now employ Aboriginal peoples have discovered, the advantages are long-lasting and wide-ranging. As an employer of Aboriginal peoples, you can expect to:
- Find new market opportunities. By employing Aboriginal peoples you'll enjoy increased exposure to Aboriginal clientele, opening up valuable new market opportunities.
- Gain a better understanding of your customers. Aboriginal staff will enhance your ability to better serve Aboriginal peoples by improving your business understanding of customers as will co-operative partnerships and collaborative community development.
- Introduce diversity to your workplace. Aboriginal peoples bring more than special skills to the workplace, they offer new perspectives. That's as good for business as it is for the workplace.
- Develop a stable and dedicated local workforce. Increasing the number of Aboriginal employees, particularly in remote areas, has proven to be a wise move the turnover rate for Aboriginal employees at workplaces near Aboriginal communities is well below the national average.
- Form positive relationships with a future workforce. The Aboriginal population is growing rapidly, creating a new profile for the workplace. It's estimated the number of Aboriginal peoples will increase by 50 percent in the next 25 years.
While the road to Aboriginal employment can be a rewarding one for both employer and employee, it is not without its rough spots. Obstacles real and imagined still exist.
Levels of education for Aboriginal peoples, while on the rise, are lower than those of non-Aboriginal Canadians. Aboriginal peoples continue to be under-represented in the workplace. Negative attitudes and stereotypes impede their full participation in the labour market.
For the employer willing to confront these challenges, hand in hand with Aboriginal peoples, the rewards are real. Like others, you'll discover that putting the diverse skills of Aboriginal peoples to work is good for you and good for business.
The Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative (AWPI) has a single mandate-to increase the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the labour market. We do so through our own efforts and by supporting those of individuals and organizations who share our goal.
AWPI is committed to breaking down the barriers and overcoming the hurdles (real or imagined) that deter the employment of Aboriginal peoples.
Our goal is to converge the efforts of Aboriginal peoples and employers, to stress the advantages and emphasize the benefits of working together.
To fulfil this commitment, AWPI:
- Raises awareness of Aboriginal employment issues;
- Enhances the capacity of employers to recruit, promote and retain Aboriginal employees;
- Promotes information-sharing and networking among stakeholders.
Launched in 1991, AWPI is part of the federal government's commitment to help Aboriginal peoples build stronger, healthier and more self-reliant communities.
Responsibility for AWPI is shared between the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND), and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).
DIAND oversees the AWPI external component geared to sectors of the economy other than the federal public service while TBS, in collaboration with the Public Service Commission (PSC), looks after the AWPI internal component aimed at the federal public service.
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