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Stronger voice for the people

Kitikmeot Partners beef up their team

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

Cambridge Bay (Dec 17/01) - To Carl Isnor, it didn't look like Nunavut College was doing enough to prepare Kitikmeot youth for the mining industry.

Rather than let inaction keep him awake at night, Isnor submitted his name to the Kitikmeot Employment and Training Partners. He learned last month he'd been appointed to the board of directors.

Formed two years ago by officials in the region, KETP is mandated to provide relevant training opportunities for Kitikmeot residents.

"I don't know where young people are going to get jobs if it's not in the mining industry," said Isnor.

"There will be a few jobs in the government and the odd teaching position, but not the numbers possibly employed by mining companies," he said last week from his Cambridge Bay office.

Isnor said his spot on the board will allow him to use his educational expertise to help pinpoint shortfalls and develop appropriate training programs by working with the industry.

Whether it's to offer college support or the benefit of his personal experience, Isnor said he wanted to see local training programs turn out participants with the skill set needed by employers.

It's interest like Isnor's that reassures KETP manager Sean Peterson.

At the helm of the non-profit organization for the last two years, Peterson said the recent appointment of such a varied board of directors showed him KETP was on the right track.

"It shows our partners are satisfied we're making progress and representing the interests of the common folks and trying to further the cause of the people," said Peterson.

"They must endorse what we do."

During the first annual general meeting held at the end of November, Peterson said board members identified the need to assist youth as one of their priorities.

"They want to try and turn youth on to thinking about their future instead of waiting for their future to happen to them," he said.

The board also wants to place more emphasis on the development of employment-related life skills in the training programs offered to participants and is interested in acting as more of an advocacy group.