Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) designed the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative to create relationships and partnerships between our industry and Aboriginal communities. It aimed to increase participation of Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) in the electricity and renewable energy workforce.
Various barriers prevent Aboriginal peoples from fully participating in the electricity workforce. Through this project, EHRC and its partners promoted research identifying these barriers, and then crafted and piloted strategies to address them.
The initiative raised awareness about these barriers and identified potential partnerships between Aboriginal peoples and industry that might overcome them. It also helped articulate to employers how recruiting Aboriginal employees could help their bottom line.
Through the project, Aboriginal peoples gained greater awareness of opportunities for work within the industry. Employers in turn could strengthen their recruitment and retention efforts through a better understanding of the employment practices of Aboriginal peoples.
The project resulted in several tools and resources for employers.
- 10 Tips for a successful strategy
- Strategic assertions and recommended initiatives
- A human resource toolkit
- Examples of best practices
The initiative also led to two demonstration projects.
- One for adults, our Electrical Trades Orientation Program
- One for youth, our Bright Futures Aboriginal Youth Camps.
For more information please visit the project microsite.
Bright Futures Aboriginal Youth Camps
The first Aboriginal Youth Pilot camp took place in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2009; since then seven additional camps have been organized.
EHRC created the youth camp initiative to address one of the key barriers to increasing Aboriginal involvement in the electricity sector: limited educational background in the mathematics and science required for employment in the industry.
In keeping with the research findings and best practices such as “start early”, the camps are oriented to pre-teen youth (approximate ages 10-13). Attendees build relevant interest, knowledge and confidence in advance of making educational and career choices.
The original idea for the camp was inspired by the “girls only” camp offered by Manitoba Hydro and identified as a best practice in the Canadian Electricity Association 2004 study, Keeping the Future Bright.
For more information on the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative project, please contact (613) 235-5540 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.