The power of employment is transformational. It provides not only greater financial independence, but also additional skills and training that can open up people to bigger opportunities in the future. It also significantly contributes to people’s health, social outcomes, and overall well being.
There is an outrageously high rate of unemployment within the Aboriginal community in Canada. This is as a result of some employment barriers to indigenous people that prevent them from obtaining and maintaining a job. Today, many Canadian organizations are being urged to hire more Aboriginals into their workforce.
Engaging the knowledge and unique skills of an indigenous person can have a positive impact on any organization. They bring different perspectives, skills, and knowledge which is highly likely to generate long-term value for organizations and individuals.
In this article, we are going to look at some solutions to employment barriers for indigenous people.
Barrier 1: Cultural Differences
Most employers and even co-workers do not understand nor respect the distinctive cultural differences of indigenous people. This often results in a workplace atmosphere of resentment, distrust, and disrespect.
Organizations and their employees should know that every First Nation, Inuit, and Metis community are different and unique. They should take some time to visit the communities near their areas to learn more about their history, culture, challenges, and achievements. While at it, they can also invite the community elders to their workplace to talk about and show them their own culture and beliefs.
Organizations can also make sure everyone on their team takes a cultural awareness course. Being able to recognize and respect cultural differences is crucial. It needs to be systematic in organizations and support from the management level for it to be viable and effective.
Barrier 2: Lack of a driver’s license
One of the biggest challenges that people living in remote communities face is getting a driver’s license. This is due to the lack of training providers or even a vehicle or van to train with.
Having a certified driver’s license is an important factor when it comes to getting a job in Canada. Hence, organizations should consider providing free driving training lessons to Aboriginals.
They can even arrange for transportation from these remote communities to the nearest driver’s testing station. The most important thing is motivating them if they fail the test the first time. Always remind them that getting a driver’s license is crucial to them securing a job.
Barrier 3: Literacy and Education
Basic literacy and high school education are a crucial requirement for any person to enter the workforce. According to research on literacy and education in Canada, the graduation rate of indigenous people is 24% of young adults aged between15 to 24 compared to 84% in the non-Aboriginal population.
This low rate is as a result of most Aboriginal’s resentment and distrust in Canada’s education system. However, the lack of education inhibits their chances of getting and keeping a job.
Mentoring and letting children know that education is important is crucial to burning this barrier. The government and Canadian organizations can implement mentoring programs that encourage children to embrace learning, regardless of their background.