First Nations Job Fund

Aboriginal youth represent the fastest growing demographic in Canada, and the country is experiencing skills shortages in various sectors and regions. Given the proximity of many First Nations communities to large economic projects, there is a tremendous opportunity to address some of Canada’s skills needs, while also improving the economic opportunities for Aboriginal youth and their communities.

Connecting Canadians with available jobs is a priority for the Government of Canada. As announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC) are working with participating First Nations communities to improve the on-reserve Income Assistance Program. This helps ensure that First Nations youth, between the ages of 18 and 24, who can work, have access to the skills and training they need to secure employment.

In partnership with First Nations communities, the Government is increasing the availability of training and employment services through a new First Nations Job Fund. Totaling $109 million over four years, the Job Fund supports a wide range of activities that lead directly to jobs including:

  • skills assessments;
  • personalized training;
  • coaching; and
  • other supports for young Income Assistance recipients on-reserve.

Income Assistance benefits depend on participation in training according to current practices in the province of residence.

Administered by ESDC, the Job Fund is being implemented across the country with First Nations communities from to through a phased-in approach.

While the First Nations Job Fund is separate from the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), it will be implemented using the ASETS infrastructure. ASETS supports over 80 Aboriginal organizations throughout Canada to increase workforce participation and help First Nations, Métis and Inuit people prepare for, find and maintain jobs. ASETS agreement holders design and deliver employment programs and services best suited to the unique needs of their clients.

For more information, please visit the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada website.