ST. CATHARINES, ON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, MP for Haldimand-Norfolk, Regional Minister for Southwestern Ontario and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, today spoke at the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, highlighting key Economic Action Plan 2013 measures that will benefit the region and address Canada's overall skills and labour shortages.
"While our economy continues to grow and create jobs, the challenges confronting us remain significant," said Minister Finley. "By helping Canadians connect with available jobs and putting a priority on skills and training, we are ensuring continued economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity."
Economic Action Plan 2013 announces specific new measures, many of which address skills mismatches and labour shortages. These include:
- Introducing the new Canada Job Grant which will transform the way Canadians receive training by placing skills training decisions in the hands of employers and Canadian workers. The new Grant will provide $15,000 or more per person, with a maximum federal contribution of $5,000. It will also encourage greater involvement and engagement of employers in training Canadians for the jobs that are in demand, with the skills and training required.
- Creating more opportunities for apprentices;
- Tax breaks for manufacturers who buy new machinery and equipment to stay competitive;
- An extended 'hiring credit' for small businesses that create jobs;
- A record $70 billion federal investment in infrastructure across Canada, including roads, bridges, subways, rail lines, and ports;
- Major investments in research and technology;
- New tax relief for Canadians who give to charity, adopt a child, or rely on homecare services;
- Elimination of 'import tax' tariffs on everyday items Canadian families buy, like baby clothing, sports gear, and exercise equipment;
- Support to groups that are under-represented in the job market, such as people with disabilities, youth, Aboriginal people and newcomers.
Economic Action Plan 2013 also confirmed the Government's continued all-time record support for hospitals, schools, and other important health and social services.
"Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on the strong foundation laid in previous years to connect Canadians with available jobs with the new Canada Job Grant, to provide long-term predictable funding for infrastructure, and to make significant investments in manufacturing and critical research. All of these will make a difference in the lives of families in Southwestern Ontario and all of Canada."
Economic Action Plan 2013 offers a path to return to balanced budgets by 2015-16, which will strengthen Canada's fiscal advantage and spur long-term jobs and growth. For more information, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will ensure Canadians are able to obtain the qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. The Grant could provide $15,000 or more per person, including a maximum $5,000 federal contribution and matching contributions from provinces/territories and employers. Upon full implementation, nearly 130 000 Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they need to take gainful employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs.
Opportunities for Apprentices
To further reduce barriers to accreditation in the skilled trades in Canada and increase opportunities for apprentices, the Government will work with provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for apprentices, and examine the use of practical hands-on tests as a method of assessment, in targeted skilled trades. This will support more apprentices in completing their training and encourage mobility across the country.
In addition, the Government will support the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts. The Government will also ensure that funds transferred to provinces and territories through the Investment in Affordable Housing Program support the use of apprentices. As part of the new Building Canada plan for infrastructure, the Government will encourage provinces, territories and municipalities to support the use of apprentices in infrastructure projects receiving federal funding.
Support for Under-represented Groups
Economic Action Plan 2013 will also support labour market participation and a more inclusive skilled workforce with a range of measures including:
• An investment of $222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for people with disabilities.
• A reallocation of $19 million over two years to promote education in high-demand fields, including the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
• Investing $70 million over three years to support an additional 5 000 paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates, ensuring they get the valuable hands-on work experience needed to transition into the workforce.
• Dedicating $241 million over five years to improve the on-reserve Income Assistance Program to help ensure Aboriginal youth can access the skills and training they need to secure employment.
For more information about these initiatives, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca
SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.