KRG to help Inuit staff move into management positions
"This is a work in progress"
KUUJJUAQ — It’s a question that comes up at nearly every regional council meeting of the Kativik Regional Government: why aren’t there more Inuit filling local jobs, especially management positions?
As a new department director is introduced to the council — someone who has recently come to Kuujjuaq from the South — Kangiqsujuaq councillor Charlie Arngnak wonders if there were any Inuit candidates who applied.
The answer is no.
“When I was a signatory to the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, I expected to see more Inuit in the workplace,” Arngnak told the regional council this week. “But this is not the case. How do we make changes here?”
The KRG has one idea. Its human resources department plans to launch a plan in 2014 to help prepare its Inuit employees to eventually move into management positions at the organization.
The Succession Management Plan will target employees who are willing and able to participate, the KRG’s director general, Isabelle Parizeau, told the regional council Nov. 28.
“The key principal of the plan is to identify employees who first want to take part in such a plan, and could benefit from it,” Parizeau said. “We’ll also identify which KRG positions are key.”
Statistics for October 2013, tabled at the KRG meeting, show that Inuit make up 63 per cent of the KRG’s total workforce, and 29 per cent of its management positions.
To start, the KRG hopes to identify seven to 10 Inuit staff who want to take part. Each of those employees will be assigned a mentor — a senior KRG staff — to help guide them through the process.
“We’re going to tailor a professional development manual for each individual, because they don’t all need the same support in the same areas,” Parizeau said.
For the last several years, the KRG has sought the help of a southern firm to test candidates applying for jobs. Now the same company will be testing candidates in Nunavik, with tests that are adapted to the region, Parizeau said.
As part of the plan, the KRG will also offer finance and legal training to its Inuit staff. The KRG’s auditors, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, will help train staff in the call for tenders process, budgeting, purchasing and contracts — all important skills in the management of public funds.
The overall goal of the plan is to retain employees, Parizeau said, while increasing job satisfaction.
“We’ve never done this at the KRG, so this is a work in progress,” she said. “It’s ambitious, but we have to start somewhere.”