Education to Employment
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Education to Employment

Indigenous Canadians are stepping in to fill the skilled trades void

By Vinette Kooger, Project Coordinator

Indigenous Canadians have made important gains in attaining post-secondary education, and many of them have focused on gaining skills in high-demand areas.

According to recent Statistics Canada data, almost half (49.2 percent) of Indigenous people had completed post-secondary education, and many of those certificates are college or trades certifications. In fact, Indigenous Canadians with post-secondary education are now more likely to hold a college or trade certificate than non-Indigenous Canadians with post-secondary education.

With the growing shortage of skilled trades workers, it is encouraging to see more Indigenous Canadians stepping up to fill the void, particularly as they are the fastest growing demographic in Canada.

CLAC is working hard to promote the skilled trades as a viable career option to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

In Alberta, our CLAC Career Development College is proud to partner with First Nations in Treaty Six territory, and with Indigenous community organizations that support Indigenous Canadians seeking higher education in the skilled trades. We offer pre-apprenticeship programs to both indigenous and non-indigenous students in welding and scaffolding and are soon expanding to offer carpentry and industrial mechanic/millwright.

In Saskatchewan, BC, and Manitoba, CLAC also partners with employers and Indigenous communities to provide skills training and employment opportunities. Our programs provide a stepping stone to further training and rewarding careers in the skilled trades.

Learn more about the CCDC and about CLAC’s Indigenous initiatives across Canada.


The achievements, experiences and labour market outcomes of First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit women with bachelor’s degrees or higher

Postsecondary educational attainment and labour market outcomes among Indigenous peoples in Canada, findings from the 2021 Census

Canada's Indigenous Population

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