What is the overall impact of the initiative and how is this measured?
Our main goals are to
• Spread awareness of the nine Essential Skills within Aboriginal communities both on and off Reserve and for the organizations and employers who work and employ Aboriginal staff
• Share our best practices provincially, regionally and nationally
• In an effort to create buy in we want to ensure that we are all speaking in the “same language” the language of “Essential Skills”
• Delivered numerous information sessions/webinars to leadership, front line staff and clients in BC, Quebec and Ontario.
• Participation in various local, regional and national conferences to deliver our message of literacy and learning and foster partnerships
• Creation, distribution, translation and further development of a series of Essential Skills DVDs that promote awareness. This series is called ESI or Essential Skills Investigation
• Maintain AESGT website: share information on ES news and upcoming events and valuable resources
• Regular review of mandate and goals at meetings – annual strategic planning and goal setting to meet mandate and objectives of AESGT
• Coordinator reports on status of projects and activities to AESGT members.
• Coordinator creates monthly updates for the AESGT members
• Coordinator in regular communication with team members
• Coordinator sends out regular updates and provides information and resources based on team requests
• Coordinator supports team members as requested with advice and consultation
• Informal tracking of resource distribution such as ESI DVDs flows through ESAF
• Team is still in existence after 12 years
What challenges have you faced and how were these overcome?
• Accessing funding for our in person meeting each year – we depend on the generosity of our partners who donate meeting space / travel allowances to our membership etc
• Accessing funding to support the work of the Project Coordinator – we depend on the support provided by the ASET’s (Aboriginal Skills Employment Training) partnerships
• Accessing funding for the yearly website fees are a challenge and to date we have covered these internally
What are 3 key lessons you learned from developing or delivering your initiative? What advice from those lessons would you share with others?
• The creative journey of being involved with such brilliant and diverse peers and experts has opened up so many different aspects of learning and understanding of Essential Skills and its applications with Aboriginal learners that I believe our work speaks for itself. In my opinion we have created a team that has the best interests of the learners in the forefront at all times.
• All those who work with learners and people getting back to or entering the workplace can benefit from an understanding of Essential Skills as well as hands-on experiences around Essential Skills.
• There is very limited-to-no-funding available to create needed curriculum, train-the-trainers or even have sufficient funding in place for a provincial/territory guiding team to do their work.
What have participants, stakeholders and partners thought, felt and/or said about your initiative?
That it is inspiring to see our group together after all these years AND without any direct support from the government.
Incorporation of Essential Skills
Which Essential Skills are covered by the initiative?
Working with Others
How are the Essential Skills integrated into your initiative?
The 9 ES are woven into every program/workshop that we facilitate, create and present; it is our focus after all.
How do you assess participant Essential Skills?
What are the components of the initiative?
Occupation-specific skills training
Occupational certifications and/or licensing
How was Indigenous culture integrated into the program content or delivery?
Team members support, develop and distribute culturally appropriate ES- related models, materials, resources and best practices. Team has translated ES into two First Nations languages: Halq’emeylem and Hul’q’umi’num.
What do you think are the most important competencies and attributes for staff involved in this initiative to have?
The Guiding Team is comprised of individuals who have proven expertise and experience in the delivery of employment training programs for indigenous populations.
The members of the AESGT
• have firsthand knowledge of ES, ES training programs, ES tools and training techniques;
• are involved in the development and implementation of ES/employment training programs for indigenous population, as well as in the development of ES curriculum and tools;
• know our communities well, are experts so to speak in supporting initiatives related to increasing more awareness and stimulating more focus on creative ideas. We have a good understanding of what is going to work and which approaches are best suited for our people;
• have specialized knowledge of the communities we serve, as well as expertise in responding to needs such as skill enhancement and local employment development.
• May have ES certification as offered through Douglas College
Who are your partners, and what is their involvement in the initiative?
AESGT Members – Role: In-kind contribution of time and human resources: information sharing (models, materials, resources, best practices), increase capacity to deliver quality Essential Skills (ES) programming; increase awareness related to ES; advise, consult and provide feedback on specific ES projects; fundraise as appropriate; develop and distribute ES tools and materials; provide support and guidance ,etc.
AESGT Member Organization:
First Nations Employment Society
North East Native Advancing Society
Sto:Lo Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training
Aboriginal Labour Force Alliance (ALFA)
Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS)
Cariboo-Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre (CCATEC)
Coast Salish Employment and Training Society (CSETS)
Independent ES Advisor -Francesca de Bastiani
Senior Development Officer- Citizens Services and Program Delivery Branch
Independent ES Advisor -Coréen Bernier
Okanagan Training and Development Council (OTDC)
Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA)
Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB)
Independent ES Advisor – Jan Green
North – West Coast Vancouver Island
North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society (NVIATS)
TG, Essential Skills, Douglas College / Independent ES Advisor
Ktunaxa Nation Council Education & Employment Sector (KNC)
Eskilon Learning Solutions
Bear Image Productions