The Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre in Iqaluit held a community dinner on May 13 to celebrate the graduates of its eight-week pre-employment training program. The graduates of the program invited Iqalummiut to enjoy some tuktu stew, char, and bannock.

The program is funded by the Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation under Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

“This dinner is to celebrate the graduation for our current cohort,” explained Rachel Blais, executive director of the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre in Iqaluit.

The program has been running for three years now and Blais added it has helped quite a few people find employment afterward.

“Most of our kitchen staff came through that program, other people through the program have moved on to find employment with the mines, with other kitchens around town. I think it’s been a great success.”

So far the reception from the community toward Qajuqturvik’s pre-employment training program has been positive according to Blais.

“We’ve gotten great feedback from the program,” she said, “they learned skills that can be applied to a lot of different industries.

The plus-side to running this type of program for residents of Iqaluit are the increased amount of jobs available in the territorial capital.

“Iqaluit has an advantage for a program like this because there’s a lot of businesses, hotels and non-profits in town which have commercial kitchens. There’s a lot of demand for people with culinary skills,” said Blais.

The program in its current form will be coming to an end in March of next year, until then the program will be running continuously. Starting up again in a few weeks. After that Qajuqturvik hopes to continue the program once annually.

Those interested in the program are encouraged to drop by the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre.

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