Effective July 11, 2021, Saskatchewan entered Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap and the public health order relative to COVID-19 was lifted. All restrictions related to the public health order were removed as of that date.

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Roving Crews Program

Since 2006, the Ministry of Highways has hired Roving Crews tasked with assisting in highway maintenance and construction during the summer months. Composed of Indigenous and other equity group employees, the crews provide job candidates with experience and training in all areas of highway preservation, and allow them to expand their knowledge and skills.

The motivation for the program was an overabundance of work, a desire to build a more inclusive workplace and a need to recruit new employees to the ministry. In 2018, it was estimated that 40 per cent of the ministry's workforce would be retiring in 10 years. Saskatchewan's Indigenous communities were identified as having the fastest-growing young population in the province, and this untapped labour potential was considered when designing the program. Creating a crew made up of Indigenous and other equity group employees allowed the ministry's workforce to better represent Saskatchewan's diverse population.

The Roving Crews are assigned to work in areas where they are most needed, and typically work closely with other crews on routine maintenance, surfacing projects, culvert replacement, safety improvement and custom work for municipalities.

A box quote describing the outcomes of roving highway crews in Saskatchewan.

The program has been reintroduced every year since its inception and has seen many candidates gain meaningful work experience and permanent employment. 159 employees have been admitted to the crews since 2006, all of whom are Indigenous. With many returning for a second year, experienced employees are able to provide continuity and mentorship for new candidates. 26 employees have been offered permanent or term positions within the ministry, and an additional 39 have been given positive references for future permanent employment or employment within the private sector. 40 per cent of total participants have received permanent employment, been offered permanent status, or received positive referrals with, "likely to re-hire" status.

The Ministry of Highways has partnered with many organizations to successfully recruit candidates, including the Yorkton Tribal Council, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Battleford Industrial Career Centre and the Gabriel Dumont Institute. Supervisory and employee leadership, along with the support of the ministry's executive and management, is instrumental in the program's success.

An infographic highlighting important information about roving highway crews in Saskatchewan.

Source: Ministry of Highways

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