Building a skilled, competitive, resilient, responsive workforce
SCARBOROUGH, ON, May 2, 2018 /CNW/ - By investing directly in Canada's greatest asset—its resilient, hardworking people—the Governments of Canada and Ontario are helping ensure that the economic growth we create is the kind of growth that works for everyone.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, together with the Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, announced that the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Ontario with over $6 billion over six years to invest in Ontario's workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $800 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 180,000 more Ontario workers will benefit over the six years.
Speaking at the United Association Local 46, the Ministers said that these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in Ontario, including training programs, work placements, employer-sponsored training, job search assistance, career counselling and more.
Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs then 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 Ontario 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 Ontario will receive approximately $1.97 billion—more than $593 million through the WDA and more than $1.37 billion through the LMDA.
Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and Ontario 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 Ontario deliver training and services, such as:
- the Youth Job Connection program, which offers training, incentives and supports to youth who face barriers;
- skills training for people on social assistance to participate in skills training through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program; and
- free adult education classes that help students improve reading, writing, math, computer and other essential skills to prepare them for education, training or better jobs.
Funding under the LMDA will allow Ontario to help more people and more employers meet their needs, though measures such as:
- helping job seekers find work;
- matching employers with potential employees through Employment Service;
- helping unemployed workers get training or post-secondary education through the Second Career program; and
- helping employers with training costs for employees.
Many of the programs and services supported by these agreements are delivered through the Employment Ontario network of service providers, which helped approximately 1 million people in 2016–17, including over 62,300 employers across Ontario.
Every Ontarian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through smart investments like the agreements announced today, we can strengthen our middle class and help more of the people working so hard to join it.
"I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today's agreements with Ontario, we're ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers and their families thrive."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Ontario's economy is changing. New technologies, globalization and shifting demographics mean that the available jobs—and the types of skills needed to succeed in those roles—are different. These agreements mean we can provide programs and services that directly connect people with opportunities to get those skills, and I want to thank the federal government for being a partner in that. Together, we can make sure every person gets a share of Ontario's economic growth."
– The Honourable Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development
- 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 new WDAs to consolidate funding from the current Canada Job Fund Agreements and the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities; 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.
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: Carlene Variyan, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Carlene.Variyan@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca, 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org; For Minister Hunter's office: Aisling MacKnight, Press Secretary, Aisling.MacKnight@ontario.ca, 416-325-2502; For the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development: Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, Tanya.Blazina@ontario.ca, 416-325-2746