Nunavut government operates at three-quarters of its human capacity
As of June 2014, the GN's public service counted 1,144 job vacancies
Despite internship programs and other attempts to lure Inuit and non-Inuit into the public service, the Government of Nunavut is still operating at 75 per cent human capacity, and only half those jobs are filled by Inuit.
According to the latest statistics from the Department of Finance, which now oversees human resources, GN departments range in strength from a low of 61 per cent in the health department to a high of 89 per cent in the education department.
The June 2014 numbers are not that different from last year, or from spring 2001, in fact, shortly after the territory was created.
At the end of March 2001, the GN reported they were operating at 80 per cent human capacity and 43 per cent of public servants were Inuit beneficiaries.
Article 23 of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement mandates the GN, in conjunction with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., to undertake training programs and implement hiring practices “to increase Inuit participation in government employment in the Nunavut Settlement Area to a representative level.”
Representative, as defined by the NLCA, means a level proportionate to the level of Inuit in the population.
According to 2011 figures from Statistics Canada, roughly 85 per cent of Nunavut’s population is Inuit — numbering 27,000 or so people.
Given those numbers, the GN is still well below par in its Inuit hiring, as mandated by the NLCA.
We contacted NTI to find out how the land claim body felt about the current trend in Inuit employment at the GN. They declined comment.
According to the June 2014 finance report, there are 4,503 current public service jobs with the GN and 3,359 had been filled as of that month, leaving 1,144 vacancies. That means about one-quarter of all jobs were vacant within the territorial public service.
Current Inuit hiring by department varies widely. The environment department had the fewest Inuit employees — only 34 per cent were beneficiaries there.
Justice and community and government services were close behind with only 42 per cent and 43 per cent Inuit employees respectively.
Executive and intergovernmental affairs had the highest percentage of Inuit staff with 73 per cent. The next closest was culture and heritage with 71 per cent. Most other departments hovered between 50 and 60 per cent.
Those Inuit percentages are a clear improvement over March 2001 figures.
Back then, nine government departments had fewer than 50 per cent Inuit staff and only two — the legislative assembly and the now-renamed culture, language, elders and youth — were above that halfway mark.