The goal of the Sanajiit Project for Inuit apprentice and journeyperson construction workers is to develop a strong and autonomous mostly regional construction workforce. To this end, the Department organizes general worksite health and safety courses in different communities and promotes trades training at the Nunavimmi Pigiursavik Training Centre in Inukjuak. In cooperation with the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), the Department also tracks the training received by individuals, their availability to work, and their registered working hours. Information on available workers and financial incentives for hiring sanajiit is also disseminated among contractors.
In 2015, essential skills and safety training was delivered to residents interested in working in the construction sector, and mentoring services were organized to improve support for sanajiit. Specifically, 24 sanajiit completed essential skills training and 71 passed mandatory construction-site health and safety training delivered in various communities. As well, 137 individuals took advantage of placement services delivered by the Department. Specific initiatives included:
• Proficiency training in levelling and alignment for nine participants.
• An interior finishing (carpentry) training program for experienced sanajiit delivered by the KSB in Salluit in the early summer.
• A special training project implemented in Kangirsuk involving the construction of a local sewing centre entirely by Inuit trainees and an accredited carpentry instructor in August.
• The presentation of certificates of recognition in the spring to ten Inuit construction workers for their solid work ethics and dedication to Nunavik’s construction industry. These sanajiit accumulated at least 1 000 work hours in 2014, an amazing accomplishment.
After more than 30 years of representations by regional organizations, the board of directors of the CCQ accepted a proposal to create a new workforce placement region for Nunavik and set a target date of June 30, 2017. In the meantime, a number of temporary measures will be implemented, including the conversion of CCQ exemptions currently held by sanajiit into apprentice and occupation certificates in order to establish a regional labour pool, and priority hiring of sanajiit for construction projects in the region and Québec-wide recruitment when regional resources are insufficient. These temporary measures and the new placement region are making it possible to adjust labour hiring and mobility rules in the construction industry to comply with paragraphs 29.0.31 and 29.0.32 of the JBNQA which guarantee Inuit priority employment. They moreover reinforce efforts to build a strong regional pool of qualified construction tradespeople.