Whether your office is the cab of one of the massive haulers used at our oil sands mines or a cubicle in a downtown office building, feeling included, respected, and safe at work is important.
We believe this kind of work environment will help us attract and retain Indigenous employees. Included in our workforce development initiatives, is an Indigenous Workforce Advisor who works with Indigenous communities to understand community needs and share recruitment and employment information. The advisor also provides Indigenous employment insights and advice to Suncor leaders and fosters relationships with external organizations.
We also offer an Indigenous Employee Mentorship program that helps connect Indigenous employees with non-Indigenous mentors. This mentorship program helps break down barriers many Indigenous employees face in the workforce such as lack of access to training opportunities and networks, and helps Indigenous employees feel welcome. The program also gives the non-Indigenous mentors opportunities to learn more about Indigenous culture, perspectives and experiences. Since 2017, 21 mentees and 69 mentors have participated in the program.
Indigenous Student Program
We all face challenges and hurdles along our journey, but there are some aspects of life that should remain barrier-free, especially for students. Being able to gain real-life work experience when in school shouldn’t be out of reach for anyone. However, Indigenous students are more at risk for not being able to access work placements than non-Indigenous students. Suncor’s Indigenous Student Program aims to help bridge that gap.
Our Indigenous student program, which has been running since 2015, is more than just a work term; it gives Indigenous students the chance to gain practical work experience within Suncor’s operations across Canada. In its early days, the program placed eight Indigenous students at Suncor’s Base Plant in Northern Alberta. Now, more than five years later, the program has grown and sees an average of about 40 students placed in positions across Suncor’s operations—from Fort McMurray, Alta to Montreal, Que.
Despite the restrictions resulting from the pandemic and economic challenges in 2020, we continued to offer the Indigenous Student Program. Last year, 19 Indigenous students were matched with placements across Suncor.