Government of Canada helps Indigenous people in Vancouver get the literacy and essential skills they need to find good jobs

News release

September 18, 2018                      Vancouver, British Columbia                      Employment and Social Development Canada

Ensuring all Canadians are well equipped to reap the benefits of the growing economy through good, well-paying jobs for the middle class is an important priority for the Government of Canada. Strong literacy and essential skills provide the foundation for learning all other skills and help people to better find and keep jobs.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced funding of over $1.5 million to the Native Education College for the Essential Skills for Aboriginal Business project. Approximately 200 Indigenous people will be better prepared to take up jobs in a number of high demand sectors, such as retail, tourism, entertainment, hospitality and finance in Vancouver.

With this investment, the Native Education College is developing a culturally-relevant training model that combines employability skills, literacy and essential skills training and workplace simulation activities. Participants will also benefit from industry certifications and paid work placements for workers. Additional services to be provided by the College, including support to help with the costs of transportation for the participants to attend the activities will further encourage their completion of the skills training program.

By supporting Indigenous people and removing barriers to their success, the Government is helping them build better lives and strengthen their communities.


“I am proud of this project that will equip more Indigenous people with important skills they need to become full participants in our job market.  Canada will prosper when all Canadians, including Indigenous people, have a fair chance to learn, work and help grow the economy.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Quick facts

  • Approximately 50 employees, five employers, five employment agencies and five Indigenous post-secondary education institutions will participate in this Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program project launched in 2017.

  • Essential skills include the skills associated with literacy (i.e. reading, writing, document use and numeracy), as well as thinking skills, oral communication, computer use or digital skills, working with others and the skills associated with continuous learning.

  • Through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, the Government of Canada works in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, employers and community organizations to provide Canadians with the resources they need to take advantage of job opportunities, contribute to their communities and share in the country’s prosperity.

Associated links


Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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