OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced two projects to connect workers with careers in the forest products and wood manufacturing sectors.
The Forest Products Association of Canada is receiving over $1 million to create an online database for the forest products sector that will include information on available jobs based on skills and geography. It will also provide a variety of forecasts to help both employers and job seekers anticipate what skills will be in demand.
In the second project, the Wood Manufacturing Council is receiving more than $878,000 to study the human resource challenges facing the sector. In addition, it will update the skills requirements for five professions—finisher, wood machinery operator, supervisor, assembler and computer numerically controlled operator—to ensure the current standards are up to date and relevant.
Accurate job market information helps workers connect with available, in-demand jobs while ensuring that employers have workers with the skills they need to help their businesses prosper. It also assists training institutions to align their training with the skills that employers are looking for.
Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. To help hard-working families, the Government increased the Universal Child Care Benefit, introduced the Family Tax Cut and made improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- The Canadian forest products industry generates revenues of $58 billion annually. With almost half of its production exported every year, Canada is the largest exporter of forest products in the world. The sector employs about 230,000 workers in approximately 200 communities. Labour market forecasts show the forest products sector may soon face a shortage of skilled workers due to retirements and industry changes that are creating new types of jobs.
- The advanced wood products manufacturing sector produces veneer, plywood and engineered wood products, such as furniture. Due to rapidly changing technologies and business practices, there is an increasing need for higher-skilled workers in the wood manufacturing sector, which could result in a future skills shortage.
- The Sectoral Initiatives Program aims to address current and future skills shortages by supporting the development, distribution and use of labour market information, national occupational standards and skills certification and accreditation programs.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit has increased from $100 to $160 per month, totalling up to $1,920 per year, for children under the age of 6, and parents are now receiving a new benefit of $60 per month, up to $720 per year, for each child aged 6 through 17.
"Our Government is focused on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for forestry communities and across Canada. This investment will provide employers, workers and job seekers in the forest products sector with better job market information so they can make more informed business, career and training decisions."
– The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
"Under Vision2020, the forest sector is looking to hire 60,000 workers by the end of the decade. The Sectoral Initiatives Program under ESDC is a tremendous tool in the industry's toolbox, allowing us to craft, design and develop a smart online method of tracking labour market information across the country, which will help link job seekers with employers. The JobLink tool is part of TheGreenestWorkforce initiative and will be launched in 2016. The data captured will provide real-time labour market information regionally, provincially and nationally, while also providing Canadians with accurate employment forecasts and trends in the sector."
– David Lindsay, President and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
"The Wood Manufacturing Council is grateful for the Government's support for our labour market information study. Remaining competitive in the context of rapidly growing demand for skilled workers is near the top of woodworking employers' concerns and this information will help them meet the challenge. This study will also help prospective employees make informed decisions about entering this growing and career-rich area of the economy."
– Iain Macdonald, Board Chair, Wood Manufacturing Council and Managing Director, Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, University of British Columbia
Sectoral Initiatives Program
Helping Families Prosper
Canada's Economic Action Plan
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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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