OTTAWA, March 31, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Honourable Shirley Bond, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, today signed several agreements to help connect Canadians with available jobs, including one to implement the Canada Job Grant in British Columbia.
The Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. By requiring employers to put more skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will result in training that leads to guaranteed jobs. The Canada Job Grant will be delivered though the new Canada-British Columbia Job Fund (formerly known as a labour market agreement).
Additionally, the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a strong resource economy. As a significant economic driver in rural and remote regions, the resource industry has the potential to create thousands of jobs in British Columbia. The MOU affirms the commitment of both governments to work together, as well as with other partners, to develop the workforce the resource industry needs.
Minister Kenney and Minister Bond also renewed the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program, a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that helps unemployed older workers become re-employed.
- In the next 10 years, Canada is expected to need 319,000 new workers in the construction sector, with another 145,000 new workers in the mining sector and 130,000 new workers in the petroleum sector needed by 2020.
- Accounting and business advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP concluded that a liquefied natural gas industry in British Columbia, based on five plants operating by 2021, could create more than 39,000 jobs annually over a nine-year construction period and approximately 75,000 jobs once the plants were fully operational—more than 100,000 jobs in total.
- Since its launch in 2007, the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers has helped over 4,100 unemployed older workers in British Columbia.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. The Canada Job Grant is part of our commitment to address the paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many jobs without Canadians. With employers' skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will lead to a guaranteed job. Helping employers train Canadians for jobs that need to be filled will help their businesses grow and succeed. And that is good news for the British Columbia economy."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"The energy and resource industry in British Columbia has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars. Ensuring that British Columbia's workforce has the skills needed by this industry is crucial to unlocking that potential."
- The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia
"Our priority is making sure British Columbians are first in line for the over one million job openings expected by 2020. Together, these agreements will play a significant role in our work to connect British Columbians with the skills they need. We look forward to working in partnership with the federal government to connect people with the critical skills training programs and services that will ensure B.C.'s employers have the right workers, in the right place, at the right time."
- The Honourable Shirley Bond, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour
Canada Job Fund
The current labour market agreements, created in 2007, are being transformed into the new Canada Job Fund to ensure greater employer involvement in training. Nationally, the Government of Canada will continue to provide $500 million annually to the provinces and territories for investments in skills training through the Canada Job Fund. British Columbia will continue to receive approximately $65 million—its per capita share of the $500 million.
The Canada Job Fund will now include $200 million in employer-driven training, which may include funding for the Canada Job Grant or other employer-driven training programs.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will help Canadians get the training they need for available jobs and put skills training decisions in the hands of employers. It will provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in federal contributions. Employers will be required to contribute on average one-third of the total costs of training. British Columbia will develop the Canada Job Grant over the coming months.
Canada-British Columbia Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a Strong Resource Economy
The resource industry is a significant economic driver in rural and remote regions and is important to British Columbia's and Canada's economic future. Canada's unique opportunity to expand its energy export industry will generate billions of dollars of investment, create thousands of jobs, and strengthen Canada's global reputation as an energy leader.
Through this memorandum of understanding, Canada and British Columbia will work together to ensure that Canadians are first in line for jobs in British Columbia's fast-growing resources industry.
Both governments are committed to working with employers, unions, Aboriginal communities, the education and training sector, and other partners to develop the workforce the resources industry needs. This includes ensuring that Aboriginal people can participate in and benefit from emerging opportunities in the resources industry and encouraging greater participation and investments by employers in skills training.
Specific areas of collaboration include:
- gathering the best possible workforce information to better track and project job needs;
- harnessing existing capacity of the education and training sector and the employer community to increase the number of skilled trade workers and professionals for the resources industry;
- increasing training and job opportunities for Aboriginal people and groups under-represented in the labour market;
- ensuring training investments are more responsive to employers' needs; and
- reducing barriers to labour mobility and foreign credential recognition for workers who choose to move for jobs in the resources industry.
The increased global demand for new and expanded energy sources has created a highly competitive global environment, requiring timely and responsible action to ensure Canada's energy industry is export-ready. Mining and forestry also continue to expand and provide strong economic opportunities. This MOU will give communities and investors the confidence to move forward with resource development projects.
Targeted Initiative for Older Workers
The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that provides unemployed older workers (generally between the ages of 55 and 64) with employment assistance services, skills upgrading and work experience. TIOW assists unemployed older workers to re-integrate into the workforce in communities of 250,000 or less that are experiencing high unemployment and/or significant downsizing or closures. As announced in Economic Action Plan 2014, TIOW is being renewed for a three-year period, representing a federal investment of $75 million. TIOW is also being expanded to include communities experiencing unfulfilled employer demand and/or skills mismatches so that communities with tighter labour markets can participate in the initiative, particularly if they have vacant jobs that could be filled by unemployed older workers.
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