The smallest and westernmost of Canada’s three federal territories, the Yukon has a diverse population of 42,000, with 76% of the population living in Whitehorse. The government sector is by far the largest employer in the territory, directly employing approximately 5,000 out of a labor force of 12,500.
In late 2014 NECI was approached by the Yukon government with a view to adopting training designed to ensure consistency and enhanced public procurement effectiveness for staff at all levels – from clerks through to senior executives, many of whom arrive with a private sector background. While online training provides easy access and just-in-time learning, the Yukon government preferred classroom training that could be customized, using internal templates, policies and ‘burning issues’ to ensure direct relevance to their most urgent training needs. Along with creating a solid foundation and knowledge base for their procurement professionals, classroom training would also provide an opportunity for the various departments to connect and share their unique perspectives, knowledge and issues, with a chance to build social bonds, promote cross-functional team building, and connect to the strategic objectives of the organization.
Beginning early 2015 and continuing, NECI delivered a series of lightly customized PSPP courses, providing Yukon government procurement professionals with the opportunity to build their skills and knowledge while achieving their Public Sector Procurement Program Certificate. In response to the needs of the executive-level audience and other specialized groups, NECI has also delivered a number of Signature Seminars for the Yukon government including Procurement Essentials for Executives, Evaluating Procedural Fairness in Procurement and Essentials of Contract Law. The training initiative has, however, had a much larger ripple effect than initially anticipated.
After presenting at both the 2016 and 2017 Yukon Government Annual Industry Conference, NECI began to forge further relationships with municipal and First Nation leaders and business owners throughout the Territory. Collaborations with Yukon College, Däna Näye Ventures, Deisleen Development Corporation and Yukon Government Community Services has led to NECI traveling to small, remote communities providing opportunities for more diverse audiences to participate in training initiatives. First Nations governments, remote municipalities and even business owners who contract with the government have all benefited from NECI’s offerings, including a one-day session in Teslin on Preparing Bids and Proposals.
Consistently receiving evaluation scores of 4.0 out of 5.0 or higher, NECI’s training has been well received throughout the Yukon. Non-profit organizations, First Nations and government employees have all had similar training on procurement foundational practices, which has led to better understanding and communication amongst sectors. In turn, this should result in fewer non-compliant and in-error bids leading to better value for expenditure of tax dollars in the Yukon.
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