Canada's Minister of Labour addresses Canada's skills shortage during a labour conference in Colombia

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - During an address to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML), the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, discussed Canada's labour market challenges.

"One of the greatest challenges for the Canadian economy is the current skills mismatch," said Minister Leitch. "In Canada, there is high demand for certain skilled roles in some sectors and regions, and high unemployment in others. As more and more jobs are created in Canada, we need to make sure we are creating safe, fair and productive workplaces," said Minister Leitch.

Established by the Organization of American States in 1963, the IACML is the only hemispheric forum that brings ministries of labour together to address labour-related issues and challenges common to all countries of the Americas.

Since 2001, labour ministers have been meeting every two years to discuss common topics of concern including labour law inspection, non-discrimination in the workplace, youth employment, employment equity and occupational health and safety. This forum allows all the countries of the Americas to work together to build stronger workplaces and economies through sharing information and forging partnerships.

"Canada places a high priority on our engagement in the Americas: we are committed to increasing mutual economic opportunity, strengthening security and institutions and building lasting relationships for the future," said Minister Leitch in her address. "The IACML provides an opportunity for Canada to work with our partner countries in the Americas to ensure mutual prosperity within the region and achieve greater levels of international cooperation on labour issues."

The Labour Program develops, administers and enforces workplace legislation and regulations, such as the Canada Labour Code, that cover industrial relations, health and safety, and employment standards for federally regulated workers and employers.

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

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This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For further information (media only):

Barbara Mottram
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Leitch

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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