Work Readiness, Employment & Economic Development

For those interested in taking the next steps towards employment, we offer general work readiness programs, employment skills development and coaching in what it takes to start a business.

These programs help participants build the skills, tools and resources necessary for engagement with the labour market. This may include job application skills and soft and transferable skills. Some programs culminate with real work placements with potential employers where the program learnings can be safely put into practice with support from Ilitaqsiniq.

Many of our programs in the areas of Food & Harvesting and Sewing & Cultural Industries also introduce participants to what it takes to seek employment or engage in their own businesses. Many participants have achieved strong employment outcomes. 


A general work readiness program that supports unemployed or underemployed people who may or may not have completed high school to build the skills, tools and resources necessary for engagement with the labour market. Participants learn job searching skills, interviewing skills, resume and cover letter writing skills to prepare for job applications with potential employers. Job placements are secured for participants to gain valuable experience and real-life knowledge of what it takes to secure a position with an employer. Participants also take part in an Inuit history workshop. Participants spend a week on the land learning traditional activities and practicing sustainable harvesting skills while developing environmental awareness with instruction from both wildlife officers and local Elders. This program has been piloted in Iqaluit to support Inuit engagement in the high demand sectors. In its pilot year, the program supported 30 participants to join the labour force.

4 weeks
8-12 participants
Open to all
  Available all seasons

Working Women Program

This program was designed for local working women to support them in achieving work life balance with the guidance of Elder instructors, a Red Seal chef and an Ilitaqsiniq instructor. The participants are taught practices to support a healthy home, how to prepare and make healthy meals for their families, and how to best alleviate the stress of managing both a household and a career. Time management, Inuit cultural parenting practices (Inunnguiniq), and how to support the development of confident, capable and independent children are part of the skills covered in this program.

6 weeks
8-10 participants
Open to working women
  Available all seasons

YESS Program

The YESS program combines four weeks of classroom-based employment skills training with opportunities for learning cultural skills and practices and two weeks of work experience. Numerous experts from a variety of cultural and work backgrounds facilitate hands-on workshops focusing on the importance of soft and transferable skills throughout the program. Guest speakers inform youth of pathways toward a rewarding career. This program is specifically for unemployed, underemployed, or out-of-school youth who would like to engage or re-engage with education and/or the workforce.

6 weeks, 4 classroom based and 2 of work experience
6-8 participants
Youth ages 15-30
  Available all seasons