CHARLOTTETOWN, July 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Labour Market Ministers from across the country met today to take action to ensure Canadians have the skills they need to compete in a global economy. The Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) is co‑chaired by the Honourable Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Allen Roach, Prince Edward Island Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. I'm very pleased that since labour market ministers last met, we've achieved significant progress on the creation of the Canada Job Grant. By requiring employers to put more skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will result in training that leads to guaranteed jobs. In the year ahead, we look forward to building on this momentum and working together to improve foreign credential recognition, gather better labour market information, increase labour mobility and strengthen apprenticeship training systems as well as the Labour Market Development Agreements."
–The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment Social Development, and co‑chair of the FLMM
"Provinces and territories across Canada share critically important responsibilities for employment programs and skills training. We value this opportunity to meet together to discuss key areas of importance and our challenges. We learn from each other through collaboration to ensure we have the best apprenticeship, skills training and employment services that Canadians need."
–The Honourable Allen Roach, Prince Edward Island Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, and co‑chair of the FLMM
Ministers discussed several elements that are critical to strong labour markets and collaborative efforts that can be undertaken to support this goal. They also discussed recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Labour Market Information
Ministers agreed that better labour market information is required to support decision making by job seekers, students, employers and policy makers. In particular, labour market data helps Canadians make informed training and education decisions and connect with available jobs.
Increased collaboration between governments is necessary to support ongoing improvements to the quality and accessibility of labour market information.
The Government of Canada has agreed to fund two new surveys, at a cost of $14 million annually, to collect reliable and comparable information on wages and job vacancies, and identify current and emerging labour market pressures. The Government of Canada is committed to sharing this new labour market information data with provinces and territories. Ministers also agreed to enhance the collection of new labour market information.
Provincial and territorial ministers committed to improve data sharing and the Post-Secondary Student Information System.
The Government of Canada will move forward with an enhanced job matching service in collaboration with provinces and territories.
Ministers recognize the need to enhance and improve apprenticeship in Canada and that employers play an essential role in providing apprentices with on-the-job training and experience.
Ministers agreed to a pan-Canadian initiative on harmonization of the Red Seal trades. Ministers acknowledged the work that has been done to date under the direction of Canada's Premiers and the funding provided by the Government of Canada to support this work. Ministers will receive a report back this fall on the implementation of harmonization in 10 Red Seal trades in 18 months1. This harmonization initiative is aggressive but achievable. Ministers will receive a report that covers employer engagement as a means to improve completion rates. Ministers requested the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship to expand harmonization to other trades quickly.
Since revising the labour mobility chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade five years ago, significant progress on labour mobility across Canada has been made, and progress needs to continue. Ministers committed to continuing the removal of barriers to labour mobility.
Ministers agreed on the need to provide Canadians with more information, including online, to help workers have their qualifications recognized anywhere in Canada.
The Agreement on Internal Trade guarantees that workers certified for a regulated occupation in one province or territory will, upon application, be certified for that occupation anywhere it is regulated in Canada.
Labour Market Funding Agreements
Ministers discussed labour market funding agreements that provide vital training and employment support for Canadians. These include Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and Job Fund Agreements.
In the coming months, they will hear the results of stakeholder consultations and will work collaboratively to ensure these agreements meet the needs of today's labour markets, while ensuring strong accountability for results.
Ministers also discussed implementation of Job Fund Agreements across the country. A key component of the negotiated Job Fund Agreements is the Canada Job Grant2. Provincial and territorial ministers committed to implementing the Canada Job Grant in the weeks and months ahead.
Ministers discussed the importance of the review that will take place in 2015, which will allow governments to examine implementation of the Canada Job Grant and make improvements as necessary. Ministers created a Working Group to develop the Terms of Reference for the evaluation of the Canada Job Grant.
Foreign Qualification Recognition
Ministers recognized the importance of integrating newcomers into the labour market. Today, Ministers announced the addition of 10 new target occupations to the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications3. The Framework helps improve foreign qualification assessment and recognition for internationally trained professionals, so they can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. Provinces and territories will determine their level of engagement with the new target occupations, depending on their own labour market needs.
Ministers agreed to launch an action plan in the fall to further improve foreign qualification recognition. Provincial and Territorial Ministers will also consult regulatory bodies on areas such as pre-arrival supports for newcomers.
1 Considering the uniqueness of its apprenticeship system, Quebec will participate as an observer in apprenticeship harmonization efforts.
2 The Agreement between the Government of Quebec and the federal government does not include the implementation of the Canada Job Grant. Consequently, Quebec will act as an observer on the work relating to the review of the Canada Job Grant.
3 While the Quebec government has not endorsed the Framework, it supports its principles and agrees to share public reports already made to its citizens, notably those tabled at the National Assembly.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For further information (media only): Alexandra Fortier, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482, Amber Caseley, Senior Communications Officer, Government of Prince Edward Island, 902-620-3774