ST. JOHN'S, Feb. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - In a keynote speech today at the Newfoundland & Labrador Employers' Council's annual Employer of Distinction Awards luncheon, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, congratulated award winners on their success, highlighted the tremendous opportunities facing Newfoundland and Labrador and outlined how Economic Action Plan 2014 will help the province's economy continue to grow and create jobs.
The Newfoundland and Labrador economy has become a powerhouse in Canada, leading the country in economic growth last year and being near the top of employment gains in Canada since the depths of the global recession. By returning the budget to balance next year, the Government of Canada is strengthening Canada as a strong and stable fiscal climate that encourages investment, economic growth and job creation.
Economic Action Plan 2014 includes a number of initiatives to ensure workers in Newfoundland and Labrador have the skills needed to take advantage of these opportunities. The creation of the Canada Apprentice Loan will provide apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade with access to interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training. The new Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project will explore ways to allow apprentices to continue working while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their programs. Additionally, Economic Action Plan 2014 reaffirms the Government of Canada's commitment to create the Canada Job Grant, which will result in employer-driven training that leads to a guaranteed job.
- According to the annual inventory of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, $54 billion worth of major investment projects is being developed in Newfoundland and Labrador—nearly half of all the major investment projects in Atlantic Canada.
- Last year, more than 1 100 new projects got off the ground—an increase of 12 percent over the previous year.
- Major projects in Newfoundland and Labrador injecting new money into the province's economy are Hibernia, with its $6 billion in expenditures; Terra-Nova, at $2.8 billion; and White Rose, at $2.35 billion.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. The Government of Canada will be there to help Newfoundland and Labrador take advantage of the tremendous opportunities available to it and is committed to ensuring workers in Newfoundland and Labrador have the skills required to fill the increasing number of jobs available in the province."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"The role of government is to create competitive conditions to generate benefits for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Newfoundland & Labrador Employers' Council is extremely pleased to have Minister Kenney join our Employer of Distinction Awards ceremony to discuss the federal government's initiatives to connect Canadians with available jobs."
- Richard Alexander, Executive Director, Newfoundland & Labrador Employers' Council
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant will help Canadians get the training they need for available jobs and put skills training decisions in the hands of employers. It will provide up to $15,000 per person, which is cost-shared by 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.
The Canada Job Grant is strongly supported by employers and other stakeholders including:
- The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
- National Association of Career Colleges
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
- Canadian Construction Association
- Information Technology Association of Canada
- Welding Bureau
- Engineers Canada
- Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
- Christian Labour Association of Canada
- Canadian Home Builders' Association
- Canadian Shipowners Association
- Canadian Electricity Association
- Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating
- Merit Canada
- Polytechnics Canada
- Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
- Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
- Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
Economic Action Plan 2014
To help registered apprentices with the cost of their training and encourage more Canadians to consider a career in the skilled trades, the Canada Apprentice Loan will offer interest-free loans of up to $4,000 per period of technical training and will defer interest charges and loan repayment until the recipients complete or cancel their study program. It is estimated that at least 26 000 apprentices per year will apply for over $100 million in loans.
The Flexibility and Innovation in Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project will help reduce non-financial barriers to completing training and obtaining certification by using new learning tools such as in-class simulators, e-learning modules, remote learning sites and video conferencing. This will help apprentices continue working and earning while fulfilling the technical training requirements of their study program. This project could potentially support up to 12 multi-year projects through reallocations of $13 million over four years starting in 2014-2015.
The Government will ensure increased awareness of existing financial supports available through Employment Insurance (EI) so apprentices can start to receive benefits more quickly while on technical training. Through EI's Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan, employers can also invest more in apprenticeship training by choosing to top up an apprentice's benefits by up to 95 percent of his or her normal wage.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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