"Our Government remains focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians. Our Jobs Agenda will help fix the paradox of too many people without jobs and too many jobs without people," said Minister Kenney.
GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada's Jobs Agenda will help ensure Canadians have the skills and training needed in the labour market and will help overcome the paradox of too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without people.
To confront this challenge, in 2014 the Government took action by:
- working with the provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Job Grant, an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs;
- overhauling the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, ensuring that the program is being used, as intended, to fill labour shortages on a temporary basis and that Canadians are first in line for available jobs;
- starting January, the new Canada Apprentice Loan offers up to $4,000 interest-free per period of Red Seal technical training to help you complete your apprenticeship;
- harmonizing the apprenticeship requirements in six new trades across the Atlantic provinces, for which the Government of Canada provided over $4.3 million in funding;
- introducing a new generation of Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities to improve employment prospects for Canadians with disabilities and meet the needs of Canadian businesses; and
- renewing and expanding the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers initiative to help older workers in communities with tighter labour markets develop the skills needed to fill vacant jobs.
The Government of Canada also launched a new Panel on Employment Challenges of New Canadians as part of the action plan to improve foreign credential recognition for internationally trained professionals. As of 2014, the Government continues to provide financial support to improve credential recognition in 24 target occupations that represent over 80 percent of newcomers. Action taken to date includes a microloans pilot project to help internationally trained workers cover the cost of having their credentials recognized. To date, more than 1,400 skilled newcomers have benefitted from these microloans.
The Government of Canada continues to provide further support to youth by offering tax credits, such as the tuition, education and textbook tax credits, the tradesperson's tools deduction and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
September 2014 marked 500,000 apprenticeship grants issued to help young Canadians pursue careers in the skilled trades, a significant milestone in the Government's Jobs Agenda.
The Government of Canada is also investing in Aboriginal labour market programs. Since 2010, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy has helped over 68,000 Aboriginal people find a job and over 32,000 return to school. The Skills and Partnership Fund has helped over 6,300 Aboriginal people find a job, and that number is expected to grow to 8,000 to10,000 by March 2015.
As collaboration on skills development is key to addressing labour market needs, Minister Kenney:
- helped start a national conversation by hosting the first annual skills summit, which brought together experts from across Canada to explore how to better link skills training and education with current and future labour market demand; and
- took a leadership role by co-chairing the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) twice this year. The FLMM made progress on improving labour market information, harmonizing apprenticeship programs and helping new Canadians get their credentials recognized.
In 2015, the Government of Canada will continue to ensure Canadians have the skills in demand today and in the future while also enhancing the participation of under-represented groups in the workforce.
In the coming months, two new innovative online tools will be launched: the Career Choice Tool and an enhanced Job Match service. The Career Choice tool will provide more and better information on the benefits of working in various occupations and promote good careers in such high-demand fields as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the skilled trades. The Job Match service will connect unemployed Canadians with employers in their region who are seeking workers with their skill set.
- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce lists skills shortages as one of Canada's top 10 barriers to competitiveness.
- For families, to ensure that they receive the support they need to help them balance work, family and caregiving responsibilities, Employment and Social Development Canada has enhanced access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits for parents of critically ill children and claimants receiving compassionate care benefits.
- In fiscal year 2013–14, the Service Canada network served 8.1 million citizens in person, received 46.1 million calls and had 81.5 million visits to servicecanada.gc.ca.
"I am tremendously proud of the work we have accomplished this year. Through measures like the Canada Job Grant, the Canada Apprentice Loan and apprenticeship grants, our Government remains focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We will continue to deliver on our Jobs Agenda in the new year."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Alexandra Fortier, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]