North

GNWT bringing on-the-job training to communities

The Northwest Territories government needs to fill about 175 vacant jobs outside of Yellowknife, and says unqualified people should apply.

At any given time, the Government of the Northwest Territories has about 350 job vacancies. They include everything from entry-level administrative positions to land officers and housing advisors, and about half the jobs are in communities outside of Yellowknife.

For years the government has had trouble finding people who meet the qualifications to fill those positions. Now, Human Resources Minister Tom Beaulieu says people should apply for the positions, even if they don’t qualify.

“We've decided that probably the best way [to fill the jobs] is to match some labour with the vacant jobs and then fill the gaps,” Beaulieu says, “by training people on the job.”

The plan is to pay the new hires 80 per cent of the salary attached to the position, and use the remaining 20 per cent to cover the cost of training. Applicants will work with  and learn from  experienced personnel.

And if they need more specific training, Beaulieu says there is room for that. “We might send someone to school, you know, for a month here and there and use up that money.”

Trades training will also be available, according to the minister. The department of Education will also help provide supports, such as daycare subsidies.

Beaulieu says that he hopes to get the new training program off the ground in the new year. And, he says, with devolution right around the corner, the timing is important.

“Further on down the road they want to decentralize, so they want the people out there ready.”

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