CONCORD, ON, April 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced a number of government initiatives that support the manufacturing industry in Canada during a roundtable with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
The Government of Canada is partnering with the CME to help internationally trained engineers, technicians and technologists obtain jobs in their fields faster by connecting with Canadian employers facing labour shortages in manufacturing. The CME will also work with internationally trained workers to find alternate careers that match their skills set.
The Government of Canada is also providing funding to the CME to develop occupational standards for the manufacturing sector. This will help colleges and other educators develop curriculum to ensure students graduating have the in-demand skills the manufacturing sector is looking for today and in the future.
Through funding from the Government of Canada, the CME will also create a regional network for employers, colleges and trainers to share labour market information to help address common challenges in the manufacturing sector.
Finally, the Government of Canada and the CME are creating a new Manufacturing Skills Lab to provide employers, policy makers and academics with a forum to discuss solutions to the skills challenge in the manufacturing sector.
The announcement was made at a roundtable with employers from across Canada hosted by the CME. These measures build on many other actions the Government of Canada is taking to ensure Canadians have the skills they need for the jobs available today and into the future—including the Canada Job Grant, Canadian Apprentice Loan and apprenticeship grants.
- The manufacturing industry directly employs nearly 2 million Canadians, accounts for 13 percent of the gross domestic products and represents two-thirds of all of Canada's goods and services exports (2012 figures).
- Manufacturing is essential to Canada's economic prosperity; manufactured goods and associated services are used in almost every other industry, including oil and gas production, mining, construction, aerospace and transportation, agriculture tourism and retail.
- Internationally trained engineers, technicians and technologists are among the 14 target occupations under the national Foreign Credential Recognition framework.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. By supporting these projects, we are helping more Canadians put their skills to work. We also recognize that skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada's economy."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"This is a landmark initiative for Canadian manufacturing companies that employ almost 2 million Canadians from coast to coast. Nearly 50 percent of manufacturers face labour shortages, which is having a significant impact on economic output and undermining long-term performance. Competitiveness is all about people—skilled people—and the CME's Manufacturing Skills Centre will ensure that our Canadian companies can match the right skills for their needs."
- Jayson Myers, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
"As a company whose strength is its employees, Siemens congratulates Minister Kenney and the CME on these initiatives. We see the programs as providing leadership in developing world-class talent here in Canada. We are looking forward to realizing the benefits of these new programs."
- Robert Hardt, President and CEO, Siemens Canada
"There is no better way to keep a country, or a company, strong than to have good talent, and the ability to obtain and develop talent. Our people are our greatest resource, but in order to reach their potential they need the right skills for peak performance. This is a good initiative and a welcome recognition of the critical importance of advanced manufacturing to our country."
- Rob Wildeboer, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Martinrea International Inc.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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