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Gary Lai: Increasing Aboriginal employment in B.C. starts with education and career support – The Province

OPINION: The government should work with schools, the private sector and wealthy investors to encourage entrepreneurship within Indigenous communities

Economic reconciliation and integration is an important objective for government-Indigenous relations in Canada. A good place to start is the chronically low Indigenous employment rate. After all, the more native people work, the more contributions they make to Canada’s GDP, which by many economists’ measures makes everyone better off.

It is a generally accepted in Canada that the more education a person receives, the more employable they are. In the western provinces, Indigenous university graduates aged 25 to 54 have a 79.6 per cent employment rate, versus 67.4 per cent for those with a high school diploma and 46.5 per cent for those who did not complete high school. This trend is analogous to the population at large: 86.8 per cent of university graduates have jobs, versus 80.4 per cent for high-school grads and 68.1 per cent for those who do not have a high school education.

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