Why Focus on Indigenous Employment in Construction?Why Focus on Indigenous Employment in Construction?

The page you requested does not exist. A search for toolkit why focus aboriginal employment construction resulted in this page.

There are many reasons to train and hire Indigenous workers for Canada’s construction industry, including:

1. The construction industry will be facing a labour shortage.

  • From 2020-2029 the construction industry will need to recruit more than 300,000 workers; many from underrepresented groups, including youth, older workers, women, immigrants and Indigenous peoples1.
  • Indigenous workers could help to address skilled labour requirements and there is already a good base to build upon.
    • The Indigenous population is the fastest growing in Canada and has a higher propensity to choose the construction industry as a career choice. Based on the 2016 Census of the Population, an estimated 7.6% of non-Indigenous Canadians were employed in the construction industry, compared to 9.6% for the Indigenous population1.
    • In Canada, approximately 4.9% of the construction labour force is made up of Indigenous people, of which about 81% work directly on construction projects, while the remaining 19% work primarily in administrative and management-related occupations1.

2. Indigenous workers have valuable training and skills.

  • Talent and skills are available:
    • In 2016, an estimated 40% of the Indigenous population had completed training beyond secondary school. An estimated 11% had trade credentials; 18% had a college diploma; and 11% had a university degree.2

3. Indigenous workers can provide a stable local workforce.

  • Indigenous workers are more likely to choose construction than non-Indigenous, and there is a high concentration of Indigenous workers in prime working age.1,3
  • For business, the combination of underemployment, a younger than average population, and individuals rooted in the local community make the Indigenous population an ideal pool of talent for long-term engagement.

4. Diversity in the workforce gives good results.

  • Hiring Indigenous workers increases workplace diversity, which in turn yields richness of ideas, better-informed decisions and enhanced performance within the organization. 
  • Recruiting Indigenous women into construction can be a good way to tap an underrepresented source of labour and expand the diversity of the workforce.

5. Providing job opportunities makes it easier to do partnerships with Indigenous communities.

  • Generates significant growth of community infrastructure, providing opportunities for joint ventures in construction and other areas of infrastructure development.
  • Federal departments give Indigenous suppliers first opportunity to supply goods and services in set-aside contracts – contracts servicing Indigenous communities. Indigenous joint ventures must be 51% Indigenous owned, and in firms of six or more employees, 33% of full-time employees must be Indigenous.

6. Indigenous employees can bring a perspective that helps companies change and grow. 

  • Indigenous values: Indigenous peoples place a high value on consensus and respect for others.
  • Respect for land and immense knowledge of their natural environment: Land is seen as a valued legacy to future generations and there is an immense knowledge of the environment, Indigenous communities can be a good source for understanding the properties of plants and animals, the functioning of ecosystems and the techniques for using and managing them.

7. Indigenous employees can help in reaching a broader client base.4

  • There are more than 1.6 million Indigenous people across Canada – one of the fastest growing segments of the population in Canada.
  • There are genuine business advantages gained from employing Indigenous people in the workplace, including accessing the growing Indigenous market, and improving market knowledge of the local consumer base.
  • By employing Indigenous people, you’ll enjoy increased exposure to Indigenous clientele, opening up valuable new market opportunities.
  • Indigenous communities comprise a multi-billion-dollar market for goods and services.

8. Government funding and training programs help to find workers and reduce costs. 

  • Extensive network of training programs for Indigenous people: Programs are available to offset training costs for Indigenous employees. The types of training programs will vary by region and community. To find what resources are available in your area, consult https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/training.html.

9. Indigenous employment improves the socioeconomic situation – nationally and locally.

  • Increasing employment also increases the purchasing power of a larger consumer base, encourages skill development and expands the supply of workers.
  • Improving the socio-economic participation of Indigenous peoples in the workforce would enhance their contribution to the Canadian economy.

10. Employers who welcome Indigenous workers benefit from gaining a positive reputation.5

  • Support from public and regulators: Indigenous engagement and employment programs help gain public and regulator support for projects, alleviating avoidable project delays and cost escalations.
  • Environmental legislation: Federal and provincial environmental legislation gives local Indigenous communities considerable influence over project approvals, especially if such projects would have a significant socio-economic impact on lifestyle and traditional activities.
  • Licensing approvals: The Ontario government has stipulated that any developer of “areas of traditional use by First Nations” must negotiate all aspects of the development with the local First Nations, as part of the licensing approval process.
  • Socio-economic impacts: The Nunavut Impact Review Board has the mandate to screen and review projects that may have significant adverse socio-economic effects on northerners or projects that generate significant public concern.
  • 1. a. b. c. d. BuildForce Canada 2020–2029 Construction and Maintenance Looking Forward forecast
  • 2. Statistics Canada, 2016 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-400-X2016264.
  • 3. A Study of Aboriginal Participation in the Construction Industry: Construction Sector Council, Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada. 2005
  • 4. AWPI Employer Toolkit (2003)
  • 5. AWPI Toolkit, Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative (2003).