Reference Guide to Optimize Employability Interventions with Inuit Clients
In the 2011 census, 59,445 people stated that they were Inuit, about 4.2% of Canada’s entire Aboriginal population. Three quarters of the Inuit population lives in Inuit Nunangat, a huge territory that extends from Northern Labrador to the Northwest Territories. A growing proportion of the Inuit population (22%) lives in urban and rural areas outside of Inuit Nunangat. But Inuit communities across Canada frequently face a variety of social, cultural and economic challenges, particularly in relation to access to housing, education and integration into the job market.
Since 2013, the Regroupement québécois des organismes pour le développement de l’employabilité (RQuODE) has been engaged in research intended to foster entry into the labour force of adult Inuit, particularly in Montreal and Nunavik (Northern Quebec). The study’s first phase, titled “Recherche d’indicateurs pour créer une intervention en employabilité originale, adaptée à la clientèle inuit,” enabled us to document, by means of a literature review and semi-directed interviews, the specifics of employability interventions with Inuit clients from a cultural perspective. The many interviews and interventions taken in the field also brought home the conclusion that there were almost no specific reference guides, tools or measures to foster the integration and ongoing employment of this emerging clientele.
With support from CERIC and Kativik Regional Government (KRG), RQuODE wishes to identify employability intervention strategies that deliver conclusive results with Inuit clients in order to create an original reference guide tailored to career development practitioners, as phase 2. Although Quebec’s Inuit community is small, the project’s benefits extend well beyond provincial boundaries, as well as the direct benefits associated with employment integration. Integrating Inuit into the job market has a multiplier effect on the social and economic development of families and northern communities by, among other things, encouraging school retention among youth, financial autonomy and the acquisition of healthy life habits. Optimization of intervention methods for Inuit could also enable better integration of this workforce into growth sectors such as natural resource development, including mining and tourism. Furthermore, given the reference guide’s innovativeness, the project could be re-oriented to customize it to the other Inuit communities in the Arctic (phase 3).
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