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 High Arctic Trades Program will bring training and trades jobs to five High Arctic communities such as Pond Inlet, shown in this file photo. (File photo)

By David Lochead

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.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Baffin on

    will QIA be doing anything with the money from BIM? i hope they do the same and help us more. the world doesn’t just exist in Iqaluit, the outlying communities matter too, and we need investment.

    • Posted by Iqalummiuq on

      It says High Arctic not Iqaluit. FYI The Inuit population in Iqaluit is mostly Inuit coming here to live for whatever reason. Sometimes no plans of employment or accommodations before coming here. Many are also banished as the surrounding communities don’t want them. The helping agencies and places are therefore overwhelmed. Many iqalummiuq loose out in housing as well, as the rug is always pulled out under them as priority is often given to those who may be abusing the system by just wanting to be here

      • Posted by Tim innualuk on

        Must remember this is the first time north Baffin is recognized.

  2. Posted by Nunavut Tradesman on

    If only construction in smaller communities weren’t seasonal, sometimes it takes years before any project comes along.
    What these communities really need are housing maintenance servicemen, trained to be competent in each trade related to houses. They are far more guaranteed to have steady work.
    When we were still part of NWT, any jack-of-all-trades handyman could’ve easily worked as a maintainer. However since Nunavut came along, policies and regulations just keep getting complicated.

    • Posted by Student on

      The GN has a trade school for that, maybe contact them to get into trade school.

    • Posted by Almost Quarter Century on

      To be fair, “policies and regulations just keep getting complicated” is more related to 23 years passing by, not so much due to separation from NWT. NWT policies and regulations have also grown more complicated since… you know, the time before people even had computers.

    • Posted by Regulatory Capture on

      The technical term is “Regulatory Capture”. It’s what happens when the folks being regulated take over the regulatory process, for their own benefit. Usually the first thing they do is arrange things so no one else can enter the industry or the market.
      About 10 years ago Iqaluit adopted a bylaw requiring all new construction to be R2000 compliant. R2000 contained lots of sensible features intended to reduce the operating cost of a house, even though they increased its construction cost. these were things such as requiring more insulation than had previously been standard, and designing houses so that less air moved through the walls.
      But R2000 also had a very different type of requirement. It said that only someone who had already built an R2000 house could build an R2000 house!
      Yes, with the stroke of a pen the City of Iqaluit locked out all new builders.

  3. Posted by 867 on

    Would it not make more sense to send 10 students from each community selected to the trades school in Rankin Inlet, where the students can have access to all the tools they need at their disposal?

    It is preposterous that they will send in trainers to places like Grise Fiord to train people as a hail-mary attempt to get people to learn how to fix and build things, when there is a state-of-the-art multi-million dollar trades school in Rankin that sits vacant most of the time.

    • Posted by Paul on

      Each region should have their own trade schools, the one in Rankin is not enough, northern Baffin has the same population as Kivalliq, they need their own trade school, for local housing maintenance and preparation for mining. Kitikmeot should be doing the same instead of that expensive road.

    • Posted by Yay to trades! on

      There are many people who simply cannot travel to another community for months to be able to attend school. This is an amazing opportunity for those communities!

    • Posted by Northern Baffin on

      well, how about this, sending someone from grise fiord to pond inlet instead of iqaluit or rankin, saving on airfare and other costs, and investing in the communities. does that make sense? Plus they are closer to home and may not feel so far away.
      A dollar invested in the small communities has a bigger impact that a dollar invested in the either rankin or iqaluit.

  4. Posted by Reality on

    I think they’ll have trouble finding enough people who want to take this program from the smaller communities, especially a 3-year committment.

  5. Posted by Asenath qamaniq on

    Like to know more of the information

  6. Posted by Dave on

    The trades program will be in place from 2022 to 2025, with Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, Grise Fiord and Resolute getting funds.
    I have to ask the question: Where are the instructors coming from?

    There is a major shortage of qualified trades instructors and they are in very high demand with many job offers. There better be a very wise recruiting plan, or trouble lies ahead.

    There are empty trades shops all over southern Canada, as there are no instructors to teach the students. What s Nunavut’s plan to counter this?

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    If these folks don’t come out of this program with the qualifications to become certified red seal tradespeople it will be a total waster of time and money.

  8. Posted by Tom Shelby on

    Another good question is, do they need to pass the course to get paid or do they just go and end up passing anyway? Also will there be an attendance stipulation to pass? I wouldn’t want an electrician working on my house or business unless I knew he was a competent electrician, lose wires cause fires as they say. We all know, if you just throw money at things, and it’s has been going on up here for years, doesn’t always mean success.

    • Posted by 867 on

      The media loves to sensationalise these types of programs because they look great on paper. However, the media will never report on the success of these programs.

      We never hear about how many people graduate from these programs, how many people drop-out or quit, how many jobs are filled because of these programs, etc. Those figures are usually somewhat suppressed as they do not fit in with the “NUNArrative”.

  9. Posted by Frankly on

    Wow ! Good for the people of the east !
    We at central Canada kitikmeot wish to model with the qia’s in the east . Our focus is to put everyone to work on our new road to the NWT from greys bay and will bring many training initiatives but that’s where our money is going . —-Name Withheld

  10. Posted by Joe in Resolute on

    Nice, they’ll help with our Nauttiqsuqtiit buildings being built in our communities.

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