Human Resource Capacity—Government of Nunavut—Departments face long-term challenges to fill their human resource needs

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Iqaluit, 18 March 2010—Departments face long-term challenges to fill their human resource needs, including the obligation to attain a public service that is representative of the population, says the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, in her Report issued to the Nunavut Legislative Assembly today.

“Filling positions in the public service is on ongoing challenge for the Government,” said Ms. Fraser. “As we have noted in previous reports, a lack of people with the necessary training has hampered the Government’s ability to deliver some programs and carry out certain tasks.”

The audit looked at the departments of Human Resources, Community and Government Services, Education, Environment, and Finance.

Under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, 85 percent of public service positions in all occupational categories must be staffed with beneficiaries of the Agreement. The audit found that initiatives by departments to recruit and train more beneficiaries have fallen short of targets, and the Government’s goal of a representative workforce by 2020 will not be achieved in all occupational categories.

The Report notes that 23 percent of public service positions were vacant at the end of March 2009. The audit found that departments have not developed concrete plans to address this gap. They lack information on the qualifications and skills represented in their current workforce and on how many qualified people they still need in order to deliver their programs and services. In addition, they have not assessed the possible causes of chronic shortages—for example, the impact of lack of housing, lack of qualified beneficiaries with the necessary education, and salaries that are not competitive.

The Report also notes the successful initiatives of the Department of Education, which has taken concrete steps to fill its need for teachers over the short, medium, and long terms. It also has a 10-year strategy for achieving representativeness by developing beneficiaries as teachers. The Report notes that the Department’s good practices could be adopted by other departments.

“Departments simply don’t gather the information they need to better address their human resource needs,” said Ms. Fraser. “They need to develop a better understanding of what causes the gaps so they can plan effective recruitment, retention, and training strategies.”

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Human Resource Capacity—Government of Nunavut” is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada Web site.

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