Mr. Speaker, as a new Minister with the Education, Culture and Employment portfolio, I would like to outline what I think we can accomplish in the time leading up to the next election. We intend to be proactive in addressing the many issues that face us. Although there is only a short time remaining in the term of this Assembly, there is still plenty of time to take some short-term action and to lay the groundwork for longer-term initiatives and changes.
In Education, Culture and Employment, there is lots to do and lots of good work we can build on. I intend to be constructively busy for the remainder of the term. Based on the results of the ministerial forum, the recent Education Conference and the other work around the Strategic Plan, there is much we can do. In the short term, Mr. Speaker, I intend to work with Forum members, DEAs and DECs to determine how to best move forward immediately on some of the non-monetary recommendations that came out of the Ministerial Forum on Education.
The social envelope needs to continue developing cooperative and collaborative approaches to common issues. I will be meeting with my colleagues in the social envelope to identify specific issues that we should be moving forward on. I am also hoping to work with the department and with other Ministers in the social envelope to bring some clarity to our efforts around supporting youth. The link between schools and the workplace is critical if we want to develop a northern workforce. I will be speaking later this session to how we want to strengthen that link.
There is already work underway on a broad approach to languages. I would like to see this work continue, resulting in a strategic plan to ensure the protection and preservation of our languages.
Mr. Speaker, in the long term, the strategic plan will provide guidance on our future directions. In developing the plan, the department has received input from a large number of NWT residents including students, parents and teachers. This feedback will help us ensure that our priorities as a department reflect the priorities of northerners. I look forward to working with the many partners in education on cooperative and innovative solutions as we continue to address the needs of northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.