ST. JOHN'S, Aug. 3, 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 Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, announced that the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $900 million over six years to invest in its workers. This includes the province's nearly $80 million share of the additional investments announced in Budget 2017. This increase means an estimated 13,000 more workers in Newfoundland and Labrador than before will benefit over the six years.
Speaking at the Genesis Centre, Minister O'Regan said that these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in Newfoundland and Labrador, including employment counselling, on‑the‑job training, innovative skills development supports, 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 Newfoundland and Labrador, 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 Newfoundland and Labrador will receive approximately $308 million—more than $26 million through the WDA and more than $281 million through the LMDA.
Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Newfoundland and Labrador deliver training and services, such as:
- training in basic skills such as literacy and numeracy;
- on-the-job training and workplace-based skills upgrading;
- work placements for people with intellectual disabilities;
- employment counselling and services; and
- employer-sponsored training.
Funding under the LMDA will allow Newfoundland and Labrador to help more people and more employers meet their needs, through measures that support:
- skills training, ranging from basic skills to more advanced skills;
- work placements, employment assistance, and self-employment assistance;
- employers, employee associations, community groups and communities in developing and implementing strategies for dealing with labour force adjustments and meeting human resource requirements; and
- research and innovative projects to identify better ways of helping people prepare for, return to or keep good jobs.
Every Canadian deserves a real and fair 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 Newfoundland and Labrador, 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
"This investment in Newfoundland and Labrador is an investment in the future of our Province. These new agreements mean more people will have the skills and training they need to not only meet the future head on but to thrive at home and take on the world. We are equipping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to help grow our business and our economy."
– The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"These agreements will support our government's efforts through The Way Forward to encourage private-sector job creation and economic growth. Through unprecedented collaboration between the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and our industry partners, we will continue to invest in programs, services and initiatives that help ensure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the support and skills they need to gain meaningful employment and build a brighter future right here."
– The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
"The new Workforce Development and Labour Market Development agreements provide increased funding and flexibility, preparing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for the jobs of the future, including women, people with disabilities and Indigenous peoples. Negotiating and finalizing these agreements with our federal colleagues demonstrates our government's continued commitment to encouraging economic diversification and growth throughout the province."
– The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour for Newfoundland and Labrador Minister
- 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 Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Newfoundland and Labrador will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.
Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC), established in 2017 by the provincial government, and administered by College of the North Atlantic, provides a co-ordinated, central point of access to engage government, career and employment services providers, skills development organizations and stakeholders in the business and community sectors throughout the province. NLWIC's goal is to promote the research, testing and sharing of ideas and models of innovation in workforce development that will positively impact individual employability and attachment to the workforce. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour (AESL) under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement. Priorities for research funding are determined by AESL in consultation with NLWIC based on stakeholder feedback and other research.
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
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