Qikiqtani association secures $25M for jobs, training

QIA has run its Q-STEP program in partnership with federal and territorial governments, Kakivak and Baffinland since 2017

Board members from the Qikiqtani Inuit Association voted Friday to accept $25 million from the federal government for the Q-STEP employment and skills training program. (Photo by Meral Jamal)

By Meral Jamal

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association has secured an additional $25 million to extend its Q-STEP program over four years.

Board members voted to accept the money offered by the federal government for Q-STEP, which stands for Qikiqtani Skills and Training for Employment Partnership, at their general membership meeting in Iqaluit on Friday.

The training and education provided through this funding will begin in February.

Q-STEP was launched by QIA in partnership with the federal and territorial governments, Kakivak Association and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. in 2017.

Its goal has been to provide Inuit across Qikiqtani communities Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet, Clyde River, Sanirajak and Igloolik with work readiness, heavy equipment and trades apprenticeship training, and general skills development.

The federal government provided $7.9 million toward training 360 unemployed Inuit through the program when it was launched, while Baffinland offered $9.4 million in in-kind support and Kakivak provided $1.6 million in in-kind support.

Kris Mullaly, project manager for QIA, said the federal government is now providing an additional $25 million to continue the program through 2027.

This new funding will be used to expand it across all 13 Qikiqtani communities.

“We’ve heard many times the board of directors wish that benefits are going to more communities,” Mullaly said at the meeting. “We’re in a position to be able to do that.”

While Q-STEP will operate in more communities, the training provided through the program will remain similar.

“With this new funding, we’re going to stick to what we know with work readiness, heavy equipment operator, driver training, pre-trades apprenticeships.”

It will, however, focus on mobilizing the “underemployed” — providing Inuit with training and career development that makes full use of their skills.

Mullaly said the association hopes to expand the kind and reach of the training programs Q-STEP provides by encouraging use of its Tuttarvik website and mobile app, an online jobs portal that connects employers and Inuit seeking employment or training.

Tuttarvik will be “the main vehicle in driving how we can link training to employment initiatives” over the next four years, he said.


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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paul on

    Good job QIA, I’ve been noticing there has been more federal funding being provided for the north, organizations have to apply for them and QIA has done a good job getting these funding.
    We don’t hear too much from the other RIAs, I wonder what they are up to?

  2. Posted by John on

    Yeah…. Great Job QIA???? Of the original $20M program, Baffinland gave half the money and it was for “heavy equipment and trades apprenticeship training, and general skills development”… Jobs that Baffinland would have hired for… And then the QIA goes and campaigns against the very development that those jobs could have been used for. Take credit for securing funding to get people trained to do jobs and then make sure that there are no jobs to go to. I guess there are other territories and provinces for these trained individuals to go to. Now you’ve got $25M more, to train people for jobs that don’t exist in Nunavut and force them to leave to get work. #BrainDrain

    • Posted by Jon on

      It must be difficult trying to get anything done at QIA with communities like Pond trying to close down Baffinland all the time and constantly complaining.
      No matter what QIA does always someone complaining.
      Anyways, good job in securing money for training.

  3. Posted by S on

    Minor detail, but a typical one: the Tuttarvik website is inactive

    • Posted by Kris Mullaly on

      Hi S, I’m not sure if you are referring to https://tuttarvik.qia.ca/ … Please note that there are over 300 active job seekers registered and there are 45 jobs currently posted. If you continue to have problems with this, please contact us at tuttarvik@qia.ca

  4. Posted by S on

    Several organizations in Nunavut, including Arctic College through its 25 Adult Learning Centers offers programs covering the same material as that offered by the various RIAs.

    For the programs that are in place, they can’t get enough students to enroll, even through tuition is free and adults are paid to attend. Those that do register rarely show up for the eight to twelve weeks of classes.

    We need a few fundamental changes here.

    • Posted by Laurie Pelly on

      Having close contact with many Inuit youth desperately who want something to do, my assessment is that youth and young adults are not registering for those opportunities (including upgrading) because close to 70% have a Grade 10 education or less and (a) do not feel or are not qualified for such programs; (b) don’t feel or are not capable of tackling the registration process; or (c) lack the confidence or support to take action and believe in themselves.

      One 18 year old youth I spoke to recently left school at grade 6 because he was being bullied. He wants to go back to school but feels too old to be with the younger ones and the upgrading programs are out of reach.

      Nunavut needs to (a) fix the education system and (b) help the lost 70%.

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