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Alberta’s Best Workplaces: Aboriginal Employees

Aramark Remote Workplace Services: for knowing the importance of community

May 22, 2014

by Alberta Venture Staff

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Best Workplace for Aboriginal Employees

Aramark Remote Workplace Services
Head office: Edmonton
CEO: Eric Foss
Number of Alberta employees: 503

aramark_story001
Aramark Remote Workplace Services Senior Vice President, Rick Bennett, says the key to recruiting aboriginal employees is a grassroots relationship with aboriginal communities
Photograph Ryan Girard

Aramark Remote Workplace Services operates in some of Alberta’s most remote regions and staffing its camps can be a challenge. Aramark has put together an innovative training program called pre|PARE which provides on-the-job training to aboriginal candidates who may have been out of the workforce for a while, or are hesitant to work remotely.

Candidates are selected through the existing human resources network in their community before going through a two-day orientation session to introduce the culture and business of Aramark. At the end of the second day, successful candidates are offered nine-week pre|PARE placements.

One of the major components of the program is a modified training schedule, which helps to address employees’ reluctance to leave their communities. “Remote work can be difficult for a lot of people if they’re not familiar with it,” says Morgan Miske, Aramark’s workforce co-ordinator. “You’re away from your friends, your family and your home. So it makes it easier when you go in for that one week in, one week out schedule. You get accustomed to it slowly. It’s better than going out for three weeks on your first spin. I find that it definitely benefits the employees.”

Kyle Steinhauer, a pre|PARE graduate from the Whitefish Lake First Nation, found the graduated schedule helpful. “It made it easier to be away from home for so long,” he says. So far, pre|PARE has been a roaring success. “I really like this company,” Steinhauer says. “Programs like this make it so much easier for us to get a job out there.” And for Steinhauer, it’s not just any job; he’s been hired into a permanent job with Aramark and will be given the opportunity to pursue his passion for baking under the guidance of the Red Seal chefs on his work site.

The Finalists

Syncrude Canada, Fort McMurray
A three-time finalist this year (Best Overall, More than 750 Employees; Volunteerism & Community Service), Syncrude employs 474 people who self-identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, representing 9.1 per cent of the company’s workforce.

Vertex Resource Group, Sherwood Park
Vertex has a train-to-work program in place for aboriginal employees designed to hire between five and 10 emergency medical responders.

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