HALIFAX, July 13, 2018 /CNW/ - By investing directly in Canada's greatest asset—its resilient, hardworking people—the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth we create is the kind of growth that works for everyone.
Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced that the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Nova Scotia with over $700 million over six years to invest in Nova Scotia's workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $70 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 17,000 more Nova Scotian workers will benefit over the six years.
Speaking at the YMCA Nova Scotia Works Employment Centre, MP Brison said that these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in Nova Scotia, including literacy and high school completion programs for adults, services to increase the participation of immigrants in the workforce and more.
Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before—including people from groups typically under‑represented in our workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.
As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, people in Nova Scotia and across Canada are met with new challenges and new opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure everybody has the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.
The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years Nova Scotia will receive approximately $235 million—more than $46 million through the WDA and more than $188 million through the LMDA.
Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and Nova Scotia will be able to measure how programs are increasing people's earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and so that they can be continually improved.
The WDA will help Nova Scotia deliver training and services, such as:
- The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL): this school funds and coordinates tuition-free educational programs in English and French for adult learners ranging from basic literacy to high school completion.
- One Journey Work and Learn Initiative: this initiative connects Departments of Community Services and Labour and Workforce Development, industry and community to provide skills development and direct employment to Income Assistance recipients and the un/under employed by responding to an industry-identified skills shortage. This effort matches individuals currently unattached to the labour market to market demands, reducing income support dependence, labour shortages and ultimately, structural unemployment.
- Move to Work Program: this program provides opportunities to support Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) Program participants and those individuals at risk of becoming attached to the ESIA Program transition to work.
- Labour Market Integration Program: this program works with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration to assist organizations providing services for immigrants – to increase their participation in the workforce, enhance the quality of skills development programs available to them, facilitate upward workforce mobility, and provide the information necessary to help immigrants make informed labour market choices.
Funding under the LMDA will allow Nova Scotia to help more people and more employers meet their needs, though measures such as:
- START: this program encourages employers to hire Nova Scotians requiring work experience or apprenticeship support by offering wage incentives, resulting in good jobs for Nova Scotians and good employees for employers. Financial incentives vary depending on the type of employment offered, the skill level of the employee, and could include a retention bonus.
- Skills Development: through Skills Development, eligible unemployed or underemployed Nova Scotians receive the funding required to attend training and skills development programs at recognized post-secondary institutions.
- Employment Assistance Services: funding is provided to 18 external service providers to deliver career and employment services to help clients to obtain employment. This support measure forms the basis of the new Nova Scotia Works approach to integrated service delivery for all Nova Scotians. Nova Scotia Works centers are the entry point for all Nova Scotians seeking service from Employment Nova Scotia, including those who are not EI eligible. Practitioners provide direct services such as career counselling, resume development, workshops, etc. and also make referrals for specific funded programs that are administered by ENS staff based on a valid return to work action plan.
Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through smart investments like the provincial agreements announced today, we can strengthen our middle class and help more of the people working so hard to join it.
"It is essential that all Canadians get training and develop new job skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with the changing workplace and as our economy grows. Through investments like today's agreement with Nova Scotia, we are ensuring Canada's most valuable asset, our people, are well prepared by being innovative, flexible and adaptive to enjoy economic success and build toward a future. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers create a better future for themselves and their families."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Helping Nova Scotians to enter or stay in the workforce is good for growing and maintaining the middle class, is good for their families, and is good for our economy. Our government is investing in people and making sure everyone has a fair shot at success, no matter what their background or circumstance."
– Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada
"We're committed to helping Nova Scotians connect with good jobs here in the province, and to making sure our businesses have access to the workforce they need to grow. These agreements mean we can provide programs and services that can help improve the lives and careers of Nova Scotians while contributing to the broader economy. I want to thank the federal government for their partnership and support in preparing our workforce for the future."
– The Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education
- Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the Government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017–18 to 2022–23:
- $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
- $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
- In total, from 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
- Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
- The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and Nova Scotia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people's earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. Canada and Nova Scotia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.
Changing demands of the workplace
Canada is home to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, but rapid technological change and globalization are accelerating the need to learn and develop new skills. As the demands of the workplace change, so too must the skills that workers bring to their jobs. The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that both employers and governments are more responsive to workers' needs.
The new and amended agreements followed broad-based consultations with more than 700 stakeholders on how to expand and improve skills training and employment supports for Canadians.
Workforce Development Agreements
The new Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) consolidate funding from the Canada Job Fund and Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, which together transferred $722 million annually to provinces and territories. The additional $900 million from Budget 2017 will be added to this amount over a period of six years from 2017–18 to 2022–23. The new funding will also support provincial and territorial employment programming for older workers, which was previously supported by the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers.
Through these agreements, the Government is providing Canadians with more opportunities to upgrade their skills, gain experience or get help to start their own business. The agreements also mean more support, such as employment counselling, to help Canadians plan their careers.
Labour Market Development Agreements
Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) are bilateral agreements with each province and territory to design and deliver employment programming similar to Employment Benefits and Support Measures outlined in Part II of the Employment Insurance Act. LMDAs help unemployed Canadians quickly find and return to work. They also ensure a skilled labour force that meets current and emerging needs of employers.
Budget 2017 measures to expand eligibility to help more Canadians access skills training and employment assistance under the amended LMDAs include:
- investing an additional $1.8 billion in LMDAs over six years;
- broadening eligibility for Employment Benefits (e.g. skills training, wage subsidies) to include unemployed individuals who have made minimum Employment Insurance premium contributions in at least 5 of the last 10 years;
- expanding eligibility for Employment Assistance Services (e.g. employment counselling, job search assistance), currently available to unemployed Canadians, to also include employed Canadians; and
- increasing flexibility for provinces and territories to support employer-sponsored training under Labour Market Partnerships (e.g. to help employers who need to upskill or retrain their workers in order to adjust to technological or structural changes in the economy).
More recently, in Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced an additional $80 million in 2018–19 and $150 million in 2019–20 to work with key provinces to find local solutions to help support seasonal workers in the off-season.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Veronique Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, email@example.com, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org; Shannon Kerr, Labour and Advanced Education, Province of Nova Scotia, Shannon.Kerr@novascotia.ca, 902-424-0847