Yukon’s labour market services a mixed bag, study finds

Yukon does a relatively good job providing employment services, but could do more to involve the private sector in training programs, says a report released Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Yukon does a relatively good job providing employment services, but could do more to involve the private sector in training programs, says a report released Monday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The report says Yukon does well including input from First Nation governments and other “stakeholders” on labour market needs through the territory’s Labour Market Framework. Jonathan Barr, a policy analyst with the OECD, said Yukon’s “government-to-government” relationship with First Nations is a model for other jurisdictions to follow.

“The Yukon is showing leadership in how it’s dealing with First Nation communities,” he said.

Barr also said the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation’s apprenticeship program, where the First Nation does the associated paperwork on behalf of local businesses is a program other places could copy.

And Barr said Cold Climate Innovation is a good example of collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“There’s a lot of examples of how you guys are getting things right,” said Denise Gareau, director of Employment and Social Development Canada. “These watertight silos we see so often are going the way of the dinosaur here.”

But the report also says Yukon employers need to have more input on training and educational programs. Barr said Yukon businesses could do a better job generating training opportunities, possibly by reorganizing workplaces to make on-the-job training more practical.

Yukon gets a middling grade in the flexibility of its employment services. That’s in part, Barr said, because some communities are too small to provide those services themselves.

“Flexibility is a tricky issue because (Yukon) is such a small jurisdiction and everything is run out of Whitehorse,” he said.

The report also urges the Yukon government to add conditions to procurement contracts that specify and calls for more entrepreneurship skills to be included in Yukon College’s curriculum.

Researchers worked for over two years to produce the report, which also includes case studies from Saskatchewan. Barr said that’s because the OECD is interested both in Indigenous issues and the way local policies drive job creation.

Yukon appears not to suffer from youth unemployment as badly as many other parts of the developed world. But Barr said Yukon’s youth employment figures are hazy because the sample sizes here are so small.

He said governments should collect more and better labour market data.

“I also think there’s a role for the community college sector to play a stronger role in producing labour market information … in terms of broad trends: what’s happening with job growth and economic development here in the Yukon.”

The OECD report was released the same day as new job market figures from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics which showed a sharp spike in the territory’s unemployment rate this summer. The jobless rate jumped from 6.1 per cent in July to 7.8 per cent in August. The change was due to an increase in the labour force, by 400 to 21,800, which matched an increase in the number of unemployed, by 400 to 1,700.

Contact Chris Windeyer at chris.windeyer@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read