Success Story: Improving Access to the Labour Market in Nunavut

Project Location: Iqaluit, Nunavut
Program: Northern Adult Basic Education Program
Sector: Skills Development

Delivered by the three northern colleges, the Northern Adult Basic Education Program (NABEP) is improving access to basic skills such as literacy and numeracy so working age adults are better positioned to participate in the northern labour market. Starting in fiscal year 2011-12, NABEP provided $27 million over five years to the three territorial colleges: Yukon College, Aurora College, and Nunavut Arctic College. NABEP was renewed for $3.9 million for one year in Budget 2016 with the aim to maintain momentum for curriculum development and will allow time for developing next steps for adult basic education, skills, and training in the North. Over the first five years of the Program, Nunavut Arctic College received just over $11.1 million for basic adult education programs and services in Nunavut. 

In Nunavut, the Program has seen great success over the first five years. In 2014-15 alone, 254 adult learners were served by the Program, of which 99% were Inuit. Additionally, 79 of out of the 130 (60.8%) Adult Basic Education students who completed a follow-up survey indicated they were employed or had been employed since completing the program.

In 2014-15, five training programs were completed through NABEP funding, including the Adult Basic Education Essential Skills program which was offered to students in 16 communities across the territory. Other programs included training both adult basic education instructors and coordinators. In partnership with the Kivalliq Mine Training Society, Nunavut Arctic College also offered a three-week Workplace Readiness Workshop for 40 participants in four communities – Chesterfield Inlet, Whale Cove, Coral Harbour, and Baker Lake.  The workshop, which was in direct response to mining industry demand, focused on personal management skills, communication skills, job success strategies, getting job skills, and personal financial management strategies.

The Northern Adult Basic Education Program complements other programs offered by the federal government and the territories, by helping Nunavut Arctic College expand their services in adult basic education. Through this program, businesses in Nunavut will have access to more local workers with basic skills. It also helps Northerners get the training they need to get and keep jobs in high-demand sectors such as mining, construction, and tourism.

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