Skills Shortage

The scope and scale of unemployment amongst Canada’s Indigenous people is staggering and matched only by the skilled labour shortage within some Canadian businesses. In many cases businesses and Indigenous people are not able to take advantage of the opportunities available – sometimes simply because they don’t know how to connect. In other cases we have not aligned training investments with employment opportunities.

The 2011 Statistics Canada Census found that the Indigenous population in Canada soared by 20 per cent since 2006, to over 1.4 million. 646,620 Indigenous people are under the age of 25, and 28 per cent represent children under the age of 14 -- compared to 16.5 per cent for the non-Indigenous population. The median age of the Indigenous population is 27.7, compared to 40.1 for the non-Indigenous population.

Innovative workforce solutions that support a business struggling with labour shortages will improve its productivity advantage.  Many employers, searching for solutions, are taking aggressive action to recruit workers from beyond the Canadian borders.  Others are awakening to the competitive advantage of workplace diversity, inclusive of Indigenous people.

The number of Indigenous people completing high schools and obtaining a post-secondary degree is comparable to that of the 2006 Statistic Canada findings. In 2011 the following Indigenous education success factors were reported by Statistics Canada:

Education: Completed high school and earned a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree:

  • First Nations - 43%
  • Inuit - 26%
  • Métis – 47%

Education: Completed a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree but DID NOT complete high school:

  • First Nations – 16%
  • Inuit – 12%
  • Métis– 16%

Statistics Canada reports that the median income levels of Indigenous people are staggeringly low – indicating the majority of Indigenous people with post-secondary education are likely not working within their career-of-choice.

Income: Completed high school:

  • First Nations – 30–40K
  • Inuit – 30-40K
  • Métis – 30-40K

Income: DID NOT complete high school:

  • First Nations – 20-30K
  • Inuit – 10-20K
  • Métis – 20–30K


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