Northwest Territories Roundtable
May 5, 2003 1:00pm – 4:00pm
6th Floor NorthwestTel Tower, Yellowknife
Kern van Haguen School Boards Superintendents Association
Elaine Stewart ECE
Krista Rivet EKE
Wendy McPherson ECE
Dan O‟Neill Mining Association
Kristen Cook Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce
Felicity Burr Yellowknife Employment Centre
Rose van Schilling Aurora College
Bob Hardwood NWT Workers Union
Catherine Boyd ECE
Lynne Bezanson CCDF
Jean-Philippe Tabet CCIP.
Catherine Boyd opened and welcomed everyone to the meeting. She outlined the importance
of strengthening relationships between the K-12, adult education, training/education
committees from business and labour, career practitioners and different government
departments through the career development policy framework.
Participants introduced themselves, saying which organisation they represent and explaining
the interests that brought them to this roundtable meeting.
Lynne gave a PowerPoint presentation on the National Symposium: Background, Vision and
Future. The Symposium objectives were placed in context with recent Canadian and
International initiatives on career development, lifelong learning and workforce development.
The presentation will be sent to participants with the minutes of the roundtable.
In working groups, participants were asked to consider the relevancy of the Symposium
objectives for the NWT. The discussion led to the following reactions:
Questions were raised concerning comparisons with other countries which share such
a decentralized system as Canada. The Australian system is the closest one in the
OECD Study, to Lynne‟s knowledge. They have states similar to provinces which
have a great deal of autonomy with respect to education. However, unlike Canada,
they do have a centralized Federal Ministry of Education with mandates for country
standards. Lynne recommended the Australian Country Note (and the Canada
Country Note) as reading for participants. These and all other papers from the OECD
Study are available on the OECD website;
One of the OECD conclusions from the global study (OECD, EU and World Bank) is
that one can find all the elements of a quality career development system in promising
practices and policy models and applications dispersed across countries, but to date,
no single country has put all the pieces together. The final OECD Report will
synthesize the findings and present a template of a comprehensive quality model,
based on these elements, for countries to consider. It is hoped that this will be
broadly useful and provide a focus for where policy attention is needed most. The
focus will of course vary in each country;
Hesitation to embrace such an initiative was expressed, wondering what would make
this initiative move the status quo when many initiatives to achieve this had been
attempted in the past with limited long-range impact and change;
A measure of the Symposium‟s success will be the degree to which it puts career
development on the policy agenda as a “brick and mortar” component of building a
lifelong learning system and supporting workforce development;
The economic benefits and impacts of career services/career development need to be
recognized as a key elements of prosperity within the NWT policy framework
supporting workforce development ;
It was noted that the territorial roundtable in itself has started a useful process and
dialogue in that this group does not have an ongoing mechanism for connecting with
each other. This is itself is a fruitful outcome;
A key NWT « hot » labour market issue was raised. This relates to the risk to quality
career development processes in the current “hot” economy where the demand for
workers can readily skew meaningful career choices. Individuals may be encouraged
to and/or may elect to simply go where the hot jobs are regardless of interest,
motivation or suitability. This concern should be bought to the national symposium
table for discussion. It was stressed that the urgent need to find workers in a rapid
economic growth period is often followed by a cyclical downturn. Career
development services need to be based on holistic approaches which balance the
aspirations and talents of the individual worker and labour market opportunities which
are in constant change and impossible to predict. A balance must be found between
short term workforce needs and long term individual and workforce development;
Another key issue for the NWT is related to skilled trades and entry level positions.
The K-12 system is perceived as continuing to emphasize the importance of pursuing
some form of PSE although 80% of students will, according to current statistics, not
immediately pursue PSE options . At the same time, it is becoming increasingly
difficult to fill positions at entry levels. This is emerging as a significant challenge in
the service and retail sectors. A more integrated approach to meet the needs of both
groups is needed, as challenging it may be. More emphasis on applications of the
Essential Skills Project (which integrates career development and management skills
although this direct connection is not made to the extent needed) might be a way to
achieve partially this goal.
The last item dealt with the issue of capacity and resources. Without a clear discussion
on this, how is change going to really happen on the ground?
Each of these issues was recognized as important contributions to a Symposium
agenda. While “funding” a NWT Team was recognized as a significant challenge, the
overall sense of the roundtable was that if these issues become part of the Symposium
dialogue, there will be clear benefit for the NWT from participating.
2. Building a Provincial Team: Brainstorming Session
Building a representative team to represent the 3 stakeholder groups was presented as “the
critical ingredient” to the success of the Symposium. Members of the team ideally should be
decision makers themselves or in positions of influence so that they have access to and can
provide briefings to senior decision makers in their respective jurisdictions following the
Symposium. It was emphasized that the Symposium is not a conference, but a working forum
and numbers must be restricted to maintain the working essence. Another critical factor is
that funding for the team must come from the province/ territory. There are no funds
available to subsidize travel and accommodation although there will be hospitality provided
and there is no Symposium fee. The selection of the team will be the responsibility of the
province/territory; CCDF will assist wherever possible and desired. It was recognized that for
this to be representative and an inclusive process rather than competitive and exclusive is a
very important objective and critical to the spirit and the intent of the Symposium. All of
these factors present important challenges to be addressed.
The ideal team composition was outlined consisting of representatives from the three
stakeholder groups as follows:
Education – K to 12
Career Development Practitioners:
Manager of Adult Career Services
Small and Medium Enterprises
It was emphasized that this is a template only to provide a model from which to develop a
NWT Team which reflects the issues and composition of the NWT labour force.
The Roundtable was asked to address the following questions:
What changes to the template are needed to be representative of the issues in the
Where are these representatives structurally located in the province?
The participants worked in plenary and presented their ideas. The discussion led to the
identification of the following organisations/groups/existing bodies that would need to be
Education, Culture, and Employment (K-12, PSE, Adult, Income Support)
School Boards (8), NWT Superintendents Association
Aurora College (industry connections and adult education)
Private Sector Education institutes
Resources, Wildlife, and Economic Development
Career centre manager (ECE)
Territorial statistician (LMI)
Aurora college (CD certificate)
Community services board (Dogrib, Rae-Edso)
Aboriginal HR development agreement holders (AHRDA)
Chamber of Commerce
NWT Federation of Labour
In moving forward to put a team in place, the responsibilities and desired qualities of
members will need to be clear in order to attract the right people. The following were
presented as guides:
The responsibilities and desired qualities of those who will be on the team:
Openness to innovation
Readiness to review communications pieces
Willingness to invest some time preparing and/or reviewing the pre-Symposium Paper
requested of all teams
Attendance at the Symposium
Commitment to brief senior officials and/or constituency post-Symposium
Willingness to initiate and support follow-up actions
The team should be a good representation of the challenges in the labour market and in
career development in the province
Following the plenary, participants were asked to answer the following questions:
What process needs to be put in place to identify and select the individuals who
will be member of the Newfoundland Team?
Who, in the province, will play a key role to make this happen?
What role, if any, would CCDF need to play to support this process?
The following action steps were identified:
i. Action plan
Ongoing liaison Contact with CCDF Catherine
Briefing: ADM-DM Catherine
Briefing: Campus Director-Aurora College Rose
Briefing: Chamber of Commerce Kristen
Briefing: NWTSA Kern
Briefing: Federation of Labour Bob
Put names to the “dream team”; invite their Catherine
participation at a follow up meeting
Follow up meeting June 2; 1:15 pm; same place
Providing communication tools (i.e. letters, Lynne
announcement, templates, and minutes.)
3. National Symposium Themes Draft Paper
There was no time to discuss the Themes Paper. This paper is a work in progress. It has been
revised following the previous roundtables and participants were given the revised version for
comments. CCDF will welcome any comments from participants. The two questions the
group was asked to address in their feedback were as follows:
If these issues were the agenda of the National Symposium, how relevant would
they be for the NWT?
What would the Symposium need to achieve in order for the NWT to conclude
that it was a worthwhile investment?
CCDF would welcome any responses to these questions which will assist in the ongoing work
to arrive at an agenda which is based on the input from the Roundtables across the country.
4. Communication Strategy
The list of proposed papers was briefly presented to participants to inform them on what will
be coming out in the coming months. The roundtable was invited to contribute to the
communication strategy. Examples discussed included specific projects outlined in the labour
force NWT document, specifically:
The study on Youth Transitions completed in 2002
The pilot of a career counselling on-line system
The Career Development Policy itself (no other province/territory has this model of
comprehensive policy spanning education, employment and social services)
Career Development in a“hot” economy – advantages and challenges
Career Development in remote communities with limited wage structures. What models
of career and community development have been attempted in the NWT?
K-12 Career Development Learning Framework –adaptation of the blueprint for the
NWT – outline of the model – what changes/adaptations, why and how.
It was emphasized that there is a great deal of creative work happening in the NWT which
would be of interest well beyond NWT borders. The planned publication of the Symposium
was described - papers contributed by Roundtable Groups; provincial/territorial responses to
the 5 question (planned) paper to be prepared in advance of the symposium; the proceedings
themselves and follow-up actions. It is hoped this will prove to be a valuable resource
resulting from the Symposium initiative. NWT was strongly encouraged to make its
promising practices known!
5. Advisory Committee
Catherine Boyd agreed to be the interim member of the National Advisory Committee until an
NWT team is in place and a representative from the team identified to sit on the National
Advisory Committee. She will ensure liaison with CCDF until then. This is very much
Participants stressed the fact that the Symposium will be meaningful as long as it is building
on what is already happening in the NWT. The challenge will be to get support from senior
management and find appropriate funding for participation at the Symposium.
From the perspective of CCDF, the meeting was very stimulating and enlightened the
thinking around the objectives and the outcomes of the Symposium.
It is recognized that putting together a territorial Team and finding resources to attend will be
challenging but worth trying to achieve. The concept of „stewardship” was discussed as well
whereby individuals who end up as members of the team represent a constituency of interest
and have a responsibility to include their constituency in the preparation for and results of the
Symposium and the follow-up actions. If the stewardship model is truly embraced, a smaller
team actually attending could have very positive results and thus make financing more viable.
The idea of a territorial Symposium at some point to engage the larger community was briefly
discussed. Alberta already ahs a model for this and this may be a route to pursue for the
CCDF offered again to be of whatever assistance it is able to provide to support the territory
in moving this initiative forward. The meeting was very much appreciated. CCDF looks
forward to working with the NWT Roundtable and the NWT Team in the coming months.