CALGARY, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary
Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources
and Skills Development, today highlighted key Economic Action Plan 2013
measures that will address Canada's overall skills and labour shortages
and transform the way Canadians receive skills training, in her remarks
to the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. In line with the Harper
Government's priority focus on skills training, Dr. Leitch also
announced Skills Link funding of over $574,000 for the Calgary Catholic
Immigration Society to help youth overcome barriers to employment.
"While our economy continues to grow and create jobs, the challenges
confronting us remain significant," said Dr. Leitch. "By helping
Canadians connect with available jobs and putting a new focus on skills
and training, we are ensuring continued economic growth, job creation
and long-term prosperity."
The funding announced today will enable the Calgary Catholic Immigration
Society to help participants gain life and employability skills through
workshops on topics such as healthy lifestyles, job searching
techniques and overcoming cultural differences in the workplace.
Additionally, they may gain work experience through job placements with
local employers in a variety of positions such as customer service,
administration and entry-level engineering.
"This project empowers immigrant and refugee youth by providing the
necessary skills, support, information and experience to overcome
employment barriers," said Fariborz Birjandian, Executive Director,
Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. "We are thrilled with the overall
success of the program and its profound and positive impact on these
youth in Calgary."
Youth employment programs are part of the Harper Government's broader
strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. The
federal government reaffirmed its commitment to this strategy in
Economic Action Plan 2013.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announces specific new measures to address
skills mismatches and labour shortages. These include:
Introducing the new Canada Job Grant through renewed Labour Market
Agreements, which will transform the way Canadians receive training by
placing skills training decisions in the hands of employers and
Canadian workers. The new Grant will provide $15,000 or more per
person, with a maximum federal contribution of $5,000. It will also
ensure greater involvement and engagement of employers in training
Canadians for the jobs that are in demand.
Working with the provinces and territories to harmonize requirements to
help apprentices obtain their accreditation and create opportunities,
as part of addressing shortages in skilled trades across the country.
Providing support to groups that are under-represented in the job
market, such as people with disabilities, youth, Aboriginal people and
"The quality of our workforce must remain one of our greatest
strengths," added Dr. Leitch. "By governments, businesses,
universities, colleges, unions, training institutions and other groups
working together, we can make this happen."
Economic Action Plan 2013 also offers a path to return to balanced
budgets by 2015-16, which will strengthen Canada's fiscal advantage and
spur long-term jobs and growth.
For more information, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca
Youth Employment Strategy
The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's
commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace.
Skills Link, which is part of YES, helps youth facing barriers to
employment, including youth who are single parents, youth with
disabilities, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas, to
develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or the
confidence to return to school.
To learn more about Canada's Youth Employment Strategy and other youth
employment initiatives, please visit youth.gc.ca.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will ensure Canadians are able to obtain the
qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. The Grant
could provide $15,000 or more per person, including a maximum $5,000
federal contribution and matching contributions from
provinces/territories and employers. Businesses with a plan to train
Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply
for a Canada Job Grant. Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000
Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they
need to obtain employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs.
The Canada Job Grant will be introduced in 2014-15 as part of the
renewal of the Labour Market Agreements.
Opportunities for Apprentices
To further reduce barriers to accreditation in the skilled trades in
Canada and increase opportunities for apprentices, the Government will
work with provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for
apprentices, and examine the use of practical hands-on tests as a
method of assessment, in targeted skilled trades. This will support
more apprentices in completing their training and encourage mobility
across the country.
In addition, the Government will support the use of apprentices in
federal construction and maintenance contracts. The Government will
also ensure that funds transferred to provinces and territories through
the Investment in Affordable Housing Program support the use of
apprentices. As part of the new Building Canada plan for
infrastructure, the Government will encourage provinces, territories
and municipalities to support the use of apprentices in infrastructure
projects receiving federal funding.
Support for Under-represented Groups
Economic Action Plan 2013 will also support labour market participation
and a more inclusive skilled workforce with a range of measures
An introduction of a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for
Persons with Disabilities with an investment of $222 million per year
to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve
the employment prospects for people with disabilities.
A reallocation of $19 million over two years to promote education in
high-demand fields, including the skilled trades, science,
technology, engineering and mathematics.
Investing $70 million over three years to support an additional 5 000
paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates, ensuring they get
the valuable hands-on work experience needed to transition into the
Dedicating $241 million over five years to improve the on-reserve Income
Assistance Program to help ensure Aboriginal youth can access the
skills and training they need to secure employment.
Maintaining funding at $40 million per year, starting in 2015-16, for
the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The program will
also be reformed to provide more demand-driven training solutions for
persons with disabilities and make it more responsive to labour market
needs. Employers and community organizations will be involved in
project design and delivery.
Extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis, at a
level of $15 million per year, to support capital costs of construction
and renovations to improve physical accessibility for persons with
disabilities, including workplace accommodation.
For more information about these initiatives, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.