Multi-year effort underway to build national picture of Indigenous employment

A national, multi-pronged effort is underway to figure out how Indigenous Peoples fare in the country's labour market.

Experts say labour market information on Indigenous Peoples, both on and off reserve, is woefully lacking.

In some cases, the lack of data has meant federal officials have allowed businesses to hire temporary foreign workers even though there may be Aboriginals from nearby reserves who could fill the jobs.

Federal and Indigenous agencies are trying to fill that knowledge gap through a series of surveys and outreach efforts that will take years to complete and cost millions of dollars.

Internal government documents suggest there are concerns that these efforts won't yield robust enough data to guide future policy decisions through a new Indigenous employment strategy set to be in place in April 2018.

The government expects that over the next decade, about 400,000 young Aboriginals will join the workforce, adding to the almost 900,000 already of working age.