February 24, 2023


Your ED dropped into the Grow NWT annual Agrifood Industry Conference on Friday morning at the Explorer Hotel. Organized by the Territorial Agrifood Association, the two-day event drew people from across the territory. Excellent to see so much interest in the food production sector. Speaking at the mic is NWT MP Michael McLeod.

Photo by James O'Connor

Hire skilled refugees overseas through pilot program

"Immigration is one way that the GNWT can help grow and develop a strong labour pool from which to draw employees, complementing the existing pool of NWT residents."

R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education,

Culture and Employment

The GNWT has joined the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot, designed to help employers in Canada connect with and hire skilled refugees overseas. The GNWT stated in a release it opted to participate in this pilot to give employers another option to address the realities of the labour market in the NWT.

Through the pilot, employers will be able to access a new pool of potential employees, as some barriers refugees may experience are removed, including: some fees; making it easier to prove their work experience; and letting them use loans to fund travel costs, settlement needs, start-up costs and fees that cannot be waived. In most cases, applications can be processed within six months. But the cost to recruit an employee through the pilot using partner NGOs is between $5,000 and $10,000 and includes visa, relocation and in some cases, the cost of temporary accommodation on arrival.

Recruiting Global Talent is the next session in the IRCC series above at March 1 at 10am MST. Recruitment for global talent can seem overwhelming; however, this session will provide clarity on how you can begin your search. Topics to be discussed include IRCCs recruitment services such as Destination Canada Mobility Forum and Job Bank. Click on the ad for info.

Ottawa, Tłı̨chǫ Government make national headlines with partnership for new apprentices

 The federal government is committing more than $2.4 million to create 30 new apprenticeships in the Northwest Territories' Tłı̨chǫ region, the Canadian Press reported this week.

The Tłı̨chǫ Trades Apprenticeship Program is meant to support SMEs in the region to hire, train and retain first-year apprentices in eligible trades over the next two years.

That includes carpenters, drywall finishers, heavy equipment operators, sheet metal workers and welders.

Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty says these trades are needed in the area, particularly in the most isolated communities.

A 2021 report by BuildForce Canada says the construction industry needs more than 309,000 new workers over the next decade to replace retirees and keep up with demand.

The Tłı̨chǫ Government's 2022 to 2027 economic development and training strategy says 26 per cent of the region's population is unemployed. It identifies skilled trades, natural resources and renewable energy and several services as priority training areas.

The GNWT provides additional supports for those interested in beginning their Apprenticeship training. Employment and Social Development Canada's website is also an excellent resource for information on apprenticeships.


Topic: Training local social workers, teachers

The GNWT announced this week the return of Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Social Work and General Arts & Science Programs, as Aurora College transforms into a polytechnic university. Year 1 of these programs is planned to be implemented by September 2024. Admission into Aurora College’s education and social work programs was controversially paused in 2017 due to declining enrolment and graduation rates.

Question: Does this show the transformation is on the right track?
Yes, we need those programs, promote them!
Perhaps, the jobs are there, will students come?
No, there was poor interest just a few years ago.


Do we need a Family Day stat holiday in February?

  • YES 68%
  • NO 32%


"This is good news for our employees, partners, suppliers and local communities in the Northwest Territories."

— Sinead Kaufman, Rio Tinto Minerals’ chief executive, announcing Diavik diamond mining will continue below the A21 open pit, likely extending the NWT mine’s life to at least early 2026.


Friday Futures:

The NWT Chamber's 2023 AGM will be held Thursday, April 13 at 11:30am in Yellowknife at the Explorer Hotel. A video link for those who can't attend will be made available.

To celebrate the NWT Chamber's 50th anniversary this year, a one-day conference and evening reception is being planned for the fall.

The next NWT Chamber Board Meeting is March 15 at 11am in-person or Zoom



Inquire with the NWT Chamber's Executive Director about sponsorship and newsletter advertising opportunities. We also offer limited numbers of EBlasts to members each month and promoted social media posts can be arranged.

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