TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, spoke at the 2013 Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit hosted by the Conference Board of Canada. He emphasized the importance of encouraging students to consider in-demand jobs in the skilled trades and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as well as the role of the Canada Job Grant in helping to fix the skills mismatch in Canada. He also announced funding for the Conference Board of Canada's new Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education.
"The Canada Job Grant is the cornerstone of our approach to link Canadians with training that leads to a guaranteed job," said Minister Kenney. "Improving the skills and post-secondary education system is a national priority. Over the past few years, the Government of Canada has provided provinces and territories with a record investment for post-secondary education to help Canadians obtain the skills and education needed to obtain in-demand jobs."
Minister Kenney pointed out that Canada is currently facing a paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many jobs without Canadians, and stated that fixing the skills mismatch is a responsibility shared by businesses, post-secondary educational institutes and all levels of government.
The Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education is an example of this shared responsibility and partnership. A major five-year initiative launched by the Conference Board of Canada, the Centre will examine Canada's advanced skills and education challenges.
"The Government of Canada is happy to support the Centre for Post-Secondary Education. As the Centre recognizes, the way to tackle Canada's skills and education challenges is through partnership," added Minister Kenney.
Minister Kenney further stressed that providing better job market information to students before they decide on post-secondary education to help them make informed education and career choices is important to better match skills and employer needs. He also spoke of the need to remove the stigma attached to the skilled trades, as well as to encourage more Canadians, especially women, to enter STEM fields.
"Governments need to realize that choices that were made in the 1970s and 80s in terms of diminishing vocational education, privileging academic post-secondary subsidies over support for technical trades, does not reflect the labour market of today or the future," said Minister Kenney. "We also need to address the fact that while jobs in STEM fields are increasing at twice the rate of other jobs in Canada, the number of students entering STEM fields has not kept pace, which is causing a growing shortage in certain well-paying sectors."
A strong economy that delivers prosperity relies on a labour market that is educated, skilled, adaptable, and innovative. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to provide more information to Canadians about on-the-job prospects and the benefits of working in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education in these high-demand fields.
Economic Action Plan 2013 also offers a path to strengthen Canada's fiscal advantage and spur long-term jobs and growth. For more information, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education
The Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education is a major five-year initiative launched by the Conference Board of Canada to address Canada's advanced skills and education challenges. More information is available from the Conference Board of Canada.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, including a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from provinces, territories and employers. The Grant will be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. Businesses with a plan to train Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant once implemented in 2014. Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they need for available jobs.
The Canada Job Grant is strongly supported by employers and other stakeholders including:
- The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
- Association of Canadian Community Colleges
- Canadian Construction Association
- Information Technology Association of Canada
- Welding Bureau
- Engineers Canada
Support for Post-secondary Education and Youth
Post-secondary education is vital to Canada's economic growth and future prosperity. That is why the Government of Canada continues to invest in post-secondary education, including apprenticeships, to make sure it is accessible for all Canadians through education savings incentives, loans, grants, tax credits, tax deductions and support for training programs. Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government also plans to provide more information on the job prospects and benefits of working in the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to promote education and careers in these high-demand fields.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and Apprenticeship Completion Grant encourage Canadians to pursue and complete apprenticeship training in designated Red Seal trades. As a result of these grants, apprentices could be eligible to receive up to $4,000, which can be used to pay for tuition, tools or other expenses. To date, the Government of Canada has issued over a half-billion dollars in apprenticeship grants for Canadians.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a $1,000 taxable cash grant for apprentices who complete the first and/or second level of their apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade, to a maximum of $2,000.
The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a $2,000 taxable cash grant for eligible apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and receive their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade.
The Government of Canada also offers a tax credit to employers to encourage them to hire apprentices, as well as a tax deduction for apprentices and tradespeople to help cover the cost of new tools.
The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. With annual funding of approximately $300 million, YES helps youth obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer. Since 2006, the Youth Employment Strategy has helped more than 555 000 young people develop skills, to the benefit of the Canadian economy.
Job Bank and Job Alerts
Job Bank is the Government of Canada's free job listing and employment information website. Each year, Job Bank helps hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers, job seekers and employers connect online.
As part of the Government's overall strategy to connect Canadians with available jobs, the enhanced Job Alerts system was launched in January 2013 to include more timely and relevant job postings as well as information about the local job market. Subscribers to Job Alerts receive, by email, jobs posted on Job Bank up to twice a day. Job Alerts also delivers relevant, up-to-date information on the job market straight to the subscriber's inbox. For more information, visit jobbank.gc.ca.
Economic Action Plan 2013
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to help Canadians get the knowledge, skills and experience they need. These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing significant support to increase the labour market participation of under-represented groups, such as people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.
The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure Canadians can make better choices and get the skills and training that employers are looking for by:
- removing disincentives from Employment Insurance to ensure that it is structured in a way that people are encouraged to work, find jobs easier and are rewarded for it;
- transferring $2.7 billion each year to the provinces and territories to help ensure that unemployed and low-skilled Canadians get the training they need to participate fully in the labour market;
- increasing funding to programs that give work experience to youth and persons with disabilities so they can develop and make use of their skills and meet employers' needs;
- enhancing learning and labour market information so people can make more informed education and career choices;
- offering Apprenticeship Grants and tax credits to encourage Canadians to pursue careers in the skilled trades;
- streamlining foreign credential and experience recognition for in-demand occupations, such as physicians and engineers; and
- investing over $10 billion annually in support of post-secondary education.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.