Filling Canada’s Indigenous skills gap would be an economic boon – Policy Options

by ahnationtalk on July 29, 2020407 Views

Gaps in Indigenous education and skills training harm Indigenous business and overall economic growth. Better data are needed to address the problem.

Turning 15 is an important milestone; it’s the age when a person becomes a potential member of the workforce. Over the course of 10 years (between 2016 and 2026), 350,000 Indigenous youth will turn 15. However, to get and keep good jobs, basic essential skills are needed. And many Indigenous youth and adults do not graduate high school, or they graduate without requisite essential literacy and numeracy skills.

There are many reasons for this, including:

  • chronic under-funding of quality on-reserve education;
  • the challenge of acquiring reliable internet in remote conditions;
  • the myriad corollary effects of growing up in households disproportionately impacted by poverty, and in households impacted by residential school syndrome.

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