Hamlets want to run municipal training

Goal is to prepare locals for top jobs.



CAMBRIDGE BAY — Senior administrative officers want to get more young Inuit trained so they can take over top management jobs in their communities.

They’re proposing that the hamlets, rather than the Nunavut government, create and deliver the training programs to do just that.

“The need to train local staff and young Inuit to take over the management of their communities has never been more evident than it is today,” said Elwood Johnson.

Johnson is president of the Nunavut Association of Municipal Administrators, an organization made up of the hamlet’s senior administrator officers. He’s also the SAO of Cambridge Bay.

At a meeting in Cambridge Bay, Johnson told mayors and Nunavut government officials the goal is to get local people the necessary training to work in high-level positions at the hamlet offices.

The senior administrative officers also want to convince young Inuit that jobs with the hamlets aren’t limited to being garbage truck drivers or workers on the sewer trucks.

“We could take a swamper on a truck and, with training, they could become a truck driver with a class 3 licence and then maybe move up the ladder again,” Johnson said.

He told the Department of Community Government it should transfer the responsibility of municipal training over to the hamlets.

Right now, Community Government is in charge of the training, administering the funds and developing the programs.

Under the proposal, the hamlets and Community Government would work as partners in municipal training.

Ron Roach, the senior administrative officer of Rankin Inlet, said it makes sense for hamlets to design its own training for employees.

In an interview following the meeting, Roach said: “We, as the SAOs of hamlets, are responsible for all the staff and hamlets and know better what the training requirements are than the government.”

“We’re familiar with the people working in our hamlets and could cater the training programs to our employees, so eventually they’ll be able to take our positions over,” Roach said.

During the presentation, the Nunavut Association of Municipalities outlined to government officials how it would run the training programs.

The organization is proposing it would administer the training funds, hire an employee to co-ordinate the classes and use the training manuals already developed by the Community Government department.

Johnson said they’ll give quarterly financial statements, as well as progress reports, to the department.

The Association of Municipalities is also suggesting that the many training courses offered by various levels of government be combined, to save on training dollars.

For instance, Johnson said many courses given in the decentralized communities to train new employees are similar to the courses required by hamlet workers.

The Nunavut Association of Municipalities has put all these suggestions into its proposal to the Department of Community Government.

“It’s a big project,” Johnson admitted. “It’s a challenge, but we could do it once we get the OK.”

Rosemary Keenainak, assistant deputy minister of Community Government, said officials in the department are reviewing the proposal.

She said they haven’t made a decision yet on whether they’ll transfer responsibility of municipal training over to the hamlets.

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