QIA approves funding for High Arctic trades program
Program aims to help Inuit learn skills to work in fields including carpentry, electrical work, plumbing
The opportunity for Nunavummiut to get training for jobs in the trades is coming to the High Arctic with new funding coming from the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
The association approved $3.1 million for a new High Arctic Trades Training Program during its March 4 board meeting.
“We want the smaller communities to start benefiting from these types of programs,” said Jeremy Tunraluk, QIA director in Arctic Bay.
Tunraluk is also board chair of the Kakivak Association, an economic and community development organization in charge of distributing the money.
The trades program will be in place from 2022 to 2025, with Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, Grise Fiord and Resolute getting funds.
Ten people in each of these communities will get paid training to learn a trade and then get a job in that line of work, Tunraluk said.
Most of the trades will be construction-related, such as carpentry, electrical work and plumbing.
Clyde River would welcome the program, says the hamlet’s chief administrator officer, Jerry Natanine.
“It would mean a lot to Clyde River because we’re really short on trades, and training would be very beneficial,” he said.
The funding comes from the Tallurutiup Imanga Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement established between the federal government, Government of Nunavut and QIA in 2019. Through $55 million in federal funding, the agreement is intended to provide economic opportunity through jobs and training in the region.
Training will be carried out by the Nunavut Construction Corporation Investment Group and Qikiqtaaluk Corporation.
Having a program that pays people to learn and work in a trade means food on the table for at least 10 people in each community that receive the program, Tunraluk said.
“That’s a lot of families being helped out,” he said.
Those who get jobs out of training will likely be busy with construction opportunities as well, as the Inuit impact benefit agreement also commits to $190 million for building harbours in the Tallurutiup Imanga Marine Conservation Area that is located in the High Arctic.