Junior Resource Coordinator, Inuvik NT
ECO Canada’s work and training programs ensure all Canadians have an opportunity to participate in the growing environmental sector.
Over the next decade, the demand for skilled talent in the environmental sector is expected to grow exponentially, with 173,000 job openings by 2025 alone. ECO Canada is the steward for Canada’s environmental workforce and is dedicated to helping to meet this demand by connecting environmental employers with skilled talent, providing workforce training programs, recognizing competencies with the only national environmental professional certification, and identifying workforce gaps within the industry through statistical research.
Funded by the federal government (as part of Canada’s Integrated Work Learning Strategy), ECO Canada has been offering wage subsidies to eligible employers for the past 20 years. In partnership with industry, academia, practitioners, and various other stakeholders, ECO Canada aims to support Canada as a global leader in innovative workforce solutions and job creation.
Ensuring Indigenous representation in Canada’s environmental sector
One of ECO Canada’s mandates is to nurture an inclusive workforce and ensure the representation of Canada’s Indigenous populations. “We work closely with Indigenous communities throughout Canada,” says Kyle Sims, Manager of Professional Services and ESG at ECO Canada.
One initiative is BEAHR Indigenous training programs for local workforce development. “Our BEAHR Indigenous training programs help break down barriers to employment and build job-ready skills through both field and classroom-based training programs that take a two-eyed seeing approach, braiding traditional knowledge with western science,” says Sims.
Since 2006, ECO Canada has delivered over 270 BEAHR training programs in partnership with over 220 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Canada. The courses are tailored to meet the needs and priorities of the respective communities as well as the local employment demands of that geographical area.
BEAHR students graduate ready to enter the environmental sector in junior roles and are eligible for wage funding through Canada’s Science and Technology Internship Program, where additional funding is available for those in remote areas to help with training, transportation and other costs. This program helps leverage graduates into environmental careers and is available to people aged 30 and under who are hired for full-time, permanent environmental positions related to natural resources.
Another of ECO Canada’s employment programs, the Science Horizons Youth Internship, offers wage subsidies up to 80 percent for employers who hire recent graduates for full-time roles in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
Making a valuable contribution to protecting Arctic habitat and wildlife
Chukita Gruben is one of the Science and Technology Internship’s participants. Since July 2020 she has been working for the Joint Secretariat in Inuvik, NT as a Junior Resource Coordinator, where she’s responsible for providing administrative, communications, and outreach support. She’s also helping to coordinate two active projects in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region — the Beluga Habitat Program and the Coastal Restoration Project, both funded by the Government of Canada.
“The communication, outreach activities, and projects I’m leading here have really helped me grow my network, and since I joined the Joint Secretariat, my role also includes assisting other resource people and helping to get youth more aware, engaged, and connected to the environmental issues we face,” says Gruben. “This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for ECO Canada’s funding. Looking to the future, she hopes to continue in the environmental sector, working to protect and preserve Arctic wildlife.
ECO Canada would like to thank their funders for making these programs possible.