Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik November 29, 2011 - 12:55 pm

Survey shows Nunavik Inuit missing out on jobs

More jobs — particularly in mining — require post-secondary education

JANE GEORGE
This figure from the
This figure from the "Jobs in Nunavik 2011" survey shows the split of jobs between Inuit and non-Inuit.
This figure from the
This figure from the "Jobs in Nunavik" 2011 survey shows how many more jobs require post-secondary studies than before.

KUUJJUAQ — Nunavik Inuit are losing ground to non-Inuit when it comes to jobs, a new survey for the Kativik Regional Government shows.

Inuit held 1,145 more full-time jobs in 2011 than they did in 1993.

But the percentage of full-time jobs held by non-Inuit has grown.

This increased by 46 per cent between 2005 and 2011, while full time jobs held by Inuit increased by only 19 per cent during the same period.

As it stands now Inuit still hold 51 per cent of regular full-time jobs in Nunavik in 2011 while non-Inuit, who comprise less than 10 per cent of the population, hold 49 per cent of the regular full-time jobs.

That’s down from 56 per cent in 2005, when the last job survey was conducted.

The huge majority of workers in regular part-time jobs remain Inuit, although non-Inuit have made strides in the number of part-time and seasonal jobs they fill in Nunavik.

While Inuit hold 62 per cent of regular full-time jobs in Nunavik communities, non-Inuit hold 85 per cent of full-time jobs at Nunavik mining sites.

At Xstrata’s Raglan nickel mine in Nunavik, non-Inuit workers are taking more than eight in 10 jobs.

Only 15 per cent of the workers on site are Inuit, that is, 162 workers out of 1,083, according to statistics tabled Nov. 29 at the KRG council meeting in Kuujjuaq.

While about half of Nunavik’s workforce are women, jobs in mining are also leaving women behind, with only one in 10 mine jobs being held by a woman.

The “Jobs in Nunavik 2011” survey also connects educational levels to employment.

The Nunavik job market shows a high educational profile: “there are more and more full-time positions requiring post-secondary education or trade certification,” the survey notes.

“For instance, jobs in mining require not only trade certifications but also university degrees (geologists, engineers, etc.) and college diplomas (mining technicians, etc.). There is a wide variety of positions in Nunavik but 58 per cent of full-time positions require post-secondary education or trade certification. Therefore, a lot of jobs still cannot be filled by the local workforce,” it states.

All told, there are 7,862 jobs in Nunavik, of which 768 are seasonal and 1,871 are casual.

About five in 10 full-time jobs are found the public and para-public sector. The private and co-op sector employ 40 per cent of the full time workers, and the non-profit sector employs eight per cent of full time workers.

Of Nunavik’s 7,000-plus jobs, 654 are actually located outside Nunavik, mainly in Montreal.

Most of jobs in Nunavik organizations that are still located in Montreal are held by non-Inuit, more than eight in 10.

“Positions surveyed outside Nunavik require, on average, higher levels of training,” the survey says.

With the Plan Nord, and the thousands of jobs linked to the development of northern Quebec, “getting more qualified workers into mining related positions will be quite a challenge,” the survey concludes.

“There is a limit for the relatively small Nunavik population to generate miners and other specialized workers,” it says.

To improve the situation, the KRG’s sustainable employment department has started a new youth employment service, called YES, which will work try to encourage youth to continue their education and increase their “employability.”

The KRG is also involved in a work training program, called Tamatumani, at the Raglan mine,  which has managed to transform the turnover in its participants from the norm of 70 per cent among Inuit workers at the mine to 70 per cent retention.

The KRG has also wants Nunavik to become its own trades region under Quebec’s Commissions de la construction du Québec, a move which could encourage more Inuit to get into the trades.

KRG is obliged to hire non-Inuit, acknowledged KRG chairperson Maggie Emudluk.

Figures tabled Nov. 28 at the KRG meeting show that 34 per cent of the 197 workers at KRG are non-Inuit, 69 per cent of the management are non-Inuit and 96 per cent of the Kativik Police Force members are non-Inuit.

Speaking at the meeting Nov. 29, Emudluk enouraged youth to continue their education.

“If we’re going to be independent and run out on affairs we’re going to need education,” she said.

This figure from the
This figure from the "Jobs in Nunavik 2011" survey shows that outside the mining industry, most jobs in Nunavik are still held by Inuit.
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