Governments of Canada and British Columbia support skills training for older workers

VICTORIA, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister responsible for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour for British Columbia, announced today that up to 470 unemployed older workers will benefit from 14 skills training projects in British Columbia (B.C.) under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW).  

Over $4.8 million of federal and provincial contributions will be invested in these projects to provide unemployed older workers living in small communities with skills upgrading activities, as well as training and work placements. The experience they will acquire will help them qualify for jobs and reintegrate into the labour market. 

The projects will be located in the communities of Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Courtenay, Mission, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Creston Valley, Vernon, Dawson Creek, Quesnel and Prince George.

The Government of Canada is providing approximately $8.7 million to B.C. under the renewed TIOW agreement, which provides funding for the three-year period between 2014 and 2017. TIOW is a cost-shared initiative under which the federal and provincial governments share program costs.

Quick Facts

  • Since TIOW's launch in 2007, provinces and territories have targeted more than 35,500 unemployed older workers in small communities across the country for participation. In B.C., more than 4,300 individuals have been assisted to date.
  • Approximately 75 percent of program participants throughout Canada have found paid employment following their participation in the program, and the majority of respondents believed that their participation in the program improved their employability.
  • The B.C. Labour Market Outlook indicates that, by 2022, there will be 1 million job openings in B.C. due to the growing economy and anticipated retirements. Among these openings, 44 percent will be in trades and technical occupations.
  • Overall, labour demand is expected to grow faster than labour supply in B.C. As a result, tight labour market conditions, where the demand for workers surpasses the supply of workers, are expected starting in 2019.

Quotes

"Our Government is focused on keeping taxes low and ensuring willing and able workers have the skills they need to play an active part in the economy. We are very pleased to work with the Government of British Columbia to support these projects as they will help unemployed older workers develop new skills and the experience needed for job opportunities in their communities."
– The Honourable James Moore, Minister responsible for British Columbia

"Through Targeted Initiative for Older Worker programs, unemployed, vulnerable workers can gain skills needed to re-enter the workforce or train for a new career. This confidence allows them to support their families, their communities and help keep B.C.'s diverse economy strong and growing. With 1 million job openings projected by 2022, from retirements and economic growth, the province will need to tap into the full potential of our workforce to meet labour force demands."
– The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour for British Columbia

Associated Links

 


Backgrounder


 

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 (normally between the ages of 55 and 64) with employment assistance services, skills upgrading and work experience. The TIOW assists unemployed older workers in small communities of 250,000 or less that are experiencing high unemployment and/or significant downsizing or closures to reintegrate into the workforce.

As announced in Economic Action Plan 2014, the TIOW has been renewed for a three-year period, representing a federal investment of $75 million (i.e. $25 million per year) across the country until March 31, 2017.

The TIOW is also being expanded to include communities experiencing unfulfilled employer demand and/or skills mismatches. As a result, communities with tighter labour markets can participate in the initiative, particularly if they have vacant jobs that could be filled by unemployed older workers.

Since TIOW's launch in 2007, provinces and territories have targeted more than 35,500 unemployed older workers in small communities across the country for participation. In British Columbia, more than 4,300 individuals have been assisted to date.

 

SOURCE Canada's Economic Action Plan

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca, Follow us on Twitter; Media Relations, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour, British Columbia, 250-387-2799

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http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca

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