Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council of Canada
The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council of Canada was concerned that First Nations people were not entering and completing apprentice programs at the same rate as other Canadians.
Griffiths Sheppard was engaged to research the topic. Detailed analysis of provincial and national records and StatsCan data was employed to reach conclusions about Aboriginal participation rates in the skilled trades. The project was hampered by a lack of information – some jurisdictions were forbidden from collecting information based on ethnicity – and an overall lack of data collection on the part of the many Aboriginal organizations that existed to promote trades and apprenticeship. In fact, of 85 Aboriginal agencies polled, not one could provide information on the number of apprentices from their constituency, let alone completion rates.
We developed statistical models to determine participation in apprenticeship and skilled trades based on StatsCan census data, labour force data and the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS). Our overall conclusion was that in jurisdictions where sufficient data existed on Aboriginal participation, the rate of participation (number of apprentices per 1000 individuals in the workforce) essentially matched participation rates for the workforce as a whole, and was congruent with the overall Aboriginal population as a percentage of the Canadian population – in short, the project was aimed at fixing a problem that the statistical evidence suggested didn’t exist.