Employment training in Arviat to give youth tools for 'positive change'

A new training program called Hatuqiniq — the Inuktitut word meaning "taking back" — will launch in Arviat with the goal of getting more Nunavut youth in the workforce.

Hatuqiniq pilot program will teach 10 students essential skills and focus on motivation and self-esteem

A small Arctic community is seen from afar.
The pilot program Hatuqiniq will take place between Feb. 4 and March 28 in Arviat, Nunavut. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

A new training program is aiming to get more Nunavut youth into the workforce. 

The program called Hatuqiniq — an Inuktitut word meaning "taking back" — is aimed at youth between the ages of 15 and 30 who are out of school, unemployed or underemployed.

"One of the issues in Nunavut is that sometimes there aren't jobs, or people want to do things, but it's not possible for them to get the training," said Thor Simonsen, one of the program coordinators. "There's a bit of a mismatch."

The eight week program launching on Feb. 4 is a pilot project in collaboration with the territory's Department of Family Services.

Two instructors will work with ten students, teaching essential skills like reading, numeracy, working with others, and creating a career plan based on students' needs. Simonsen says the program will also focus on motivation and self-esteem.

"All of these things are incorporated in the workplace reality in Nunavut," said Simonsen. "[Graduates] will have a career action plan, tools to implement it and make positive changes in their life."

Thor Simonsen is one of the coordinators of a new employment training program, Hatuqiniq. In this photo he is giving a music workshop as part of Nunavut Hitmakerz. (Submitted by Thor Simonsen)

Simonsen, alongside Sanikiluaq-born singer Kelly Fraser, also runs Nunavut Hitmakerz, which teaches music skills to children in Nunavut communities

"I grew up in Iqaluit, and I've seen all the troubles that come from not having a structured life and not having enough money," he said. "Career, work and money are not going to solve everything, but I think they can solve some problems."

Hatuqiniq runs until March 28. The deadline for applications is January 28.

With files from Eva Michael