QUÉBEC CITY, July 8, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Labour market ministers from across Canada agreed today to continue to take ambitious action to improve economic opportunities for Canadians. These actions include:
- creating a Labour Market Information Council;
- accelerating harmonization of Red Seal apprenticeship training;
- working with regulators to establish more ambitious timelines for international qualification recognition.
The discussions were part of a meeting of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), co-chaired by Sam Hamad, Québec Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, and the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, federal Minister of Employment and Social Development.
"Our Government is creating jobs through tax cuts, training and trade. A balanced budget makes these goals possible. The Forum of Labour Market Ministers meeting in Quebec agreed to faster and fairer credential recognition for newcomers, quicker harmonization of apprenticeships, and better training for jobs. This work will contribute to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and co-chair of the FLMM.
"Provinces and territories play a critical role in ensuring that Canadians get the skills they need to succeed in today's economy. They deliver the vital programs and services that help individuals enhance their skills and participate in the workforce. Our objective is to ensure a better future for all, and I am confident, as co-chair, that our discussions and pooling our expertise will be beneficial in reaching this goal. "
– Sam Hamad, Québec Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, and co-chair of the FLMM
Ministers agreed to work together on several important labour market issues, including:
Labour Market Information
Recognizing that timely, reliable, comprehensive and easily accessible labour market information (LMI) is critical to determining and continuing to meet labour market needs. Ministers endorsed the creation of a new LMI Council and a complementary new National Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Through this approach, governments and stakeholders will work together to ensure all Canadians, including students, businesses, workers and educators, have access to unbiased information they need to make informed decisions.
Following approval of a business plan by ministers, this initiative will complement existing LMI activities from across the country. The Council will work to ensure that the information is comprehensive, meets recognized standards, and reflects local labour market realities and needs, while also supporting the development and promotion of a new collaborative platform for disseminating LMI.
Provincial and territorial apprenticeship systems are training the skilled tradespeople needed for the economy of today and tomorrow.
Ministers welcomed the significant progress made on harmonizing apprenticeship training in Red Seal trades, announcing that the first ten will be harmonized by September 2016 in most jurisdictions. Building on these successes, Ministers announced an ambitious new target of harmonizing a total of 30 Red Seal trades in most jurisdictions by 2020 (outside Quebec). As part of this plan, provinces, territories and the federal government will work with industry to harmonize training for two-thirds of Red Seal apprentices by 2017.
Furthermore, Ministers agreed today to a collaborative approach to improve employer engagement in apprenticeship. Collaboration will focus on: improving the complementarity and coordination of programs; leveraging resources and experiences across governments; and sharing information and best practices.
Ministers applauded efforts to provide qualification recognition responses to internationally trained workers within one year under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. Recognizing that responses are often provided more quickly, Ministers committed to working with regulators toward more ambitious timelines. The Government of Canada committed to continue supporting this initiative to seek results for faster and fairer credential recognition. Ministers further agreed to speed up the labour market integration of newcomers through enhanced pre-decision information and pre-arrival credential assessment.
Canada Job Grant
Governments agree to the importance of engaging employers in the training systems as a way to improve their labour markets. Provinces and territories have worked within the national parameters for the Canada Job Grant to design programs to address their regional and local labour market needs. With the Canada Job Grant now in its second year of implementation, Ministers took the opportunity to take stock of progress to-date.
They also confirmed their commitment to conduct a formal review of the Canada Job Grant following the first year of implementation, and reaffirmed their desire to have a report submitted to the FLMM in December 2015 that will evaluate whether it is meeting its objectives and if changes to the parameters are necessary. As it does not implement the Canada Job Grant, Quebec shared information on how the transfer of funds under the Canada Job Fund supports the continued successes of its public employment and training model in ensuring that the labour forces have the necessary skills to find a job.
About the Forum
The FLMM was established in 1983 as an intergovernmental forum aimed at strengthening cooperation on the labour market priorities of the provinces, the territories and Canada.
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
 Considering the uniqueness of its apprenticeship system, Quebec is participating as an observer in apprenticeship harmonization efforts.
 While the Quebec government has not endorsed the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, it supports its principles and contributes to its work, acting within its exclusive jurisdiction with regards to immigrant integration under the Canada-Québec Accord Relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: (media only): Maria Henriquez, Assistant to the Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, 418-643-4810; David McKeown, Communications Division, Department of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, 418-646-0425, ext. 61087; Aaron Bell, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Employment and Social Development, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559