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Aboriginal youth, education, and labour market outcomes

Recently, there have been many concerns raised in Canada about labour market shortages and the aging of the labour force. Various potential solutions to these problems have been discussed, including reliance on immigration and retaining older workers in the work force. Within this discussion little attention has been paid to another potential resource—the Aboriginal population. Compared to the general Canadian population, the Aboriginal population is young and growing, and it has the potential to partially meet some of the emerging labour market. In some parts of the country, the Aboriginal population makes up a significant share of the potential labour force, especially when demographic trends are projected into the future. In order to fully take advantage of this resource, however, continued improvements will be needed in the education and training of the Aboriginal population. This chapter illustrates another cost associated with lower educational attainment for Aboriginal peoples.