An estimated 5,000 Prince Edward Island workers to benefit
GATINEAU, QC, June 20, 2019 /CNW/ - As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, Canadian workers are met with new challenges and opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure Canadians benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and it means ensuring both employed and unemployed individuals have a chance to learn the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Brad Trivers, Prince Edward Island's Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, announced that the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the Prince Edward Island government with approximately $200 million over six years to invest in Prince Edward Island's workers.
These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $11 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 5,000 more workers will benefit over the six years with more jobs and skills training available to people living in Prince Edward Island.
Through these agreements, the Government of Canada is helping more people benefit from skills training programs—including Canadians from groups typically under‑represented in the workforce, such as youth, persons with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.
The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the amended Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). Over six years (2017–18 to 2022–23), Prince Edward Island will receive approximately $200 million—more than $23 million through the WDA and more than $176 million through the LMDA.
The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island will report results to Canadians about the impacts of skills training programs. Performance reviews will focus on: how these programs increase people's earnings; improvement opportunities; the outcomes for Prince Edward Island workers joining or remaining within the labour market; and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups.
The WDA will help Prince Edward Island deliver training and services that meet the needs of their workforce with supports such as:
- The Workplace Skills Training program so that employers can train new or existing employees to keep their skills aligned with the changing needs of the business.
- Incremental supports for persons with disabilities, including continued skills development support so individuals can find and maintain meaningful employment.
- Supports to help under-represented groups, including youth, social assistance recipients, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and newcomers, gain the necessary skills to enter the workforce.
Funding under the LMDA will allow Prince Edward Island to help more people and employers meet their unique needs, through measures such as:
- Support for the Training PEI program to allow unemployed Islanders to gain the skills and education necessary to find and maintain long-term sustainable employment. This includes group-based initiatives and training for apprentices to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.
- The Employment Assistance Services program to provide employment counselling, career planning and job search for mainstream and specialized clients at numerous locations across the province.
- Expansion of the Graduate Mentorship Program designed to support Prince Edward Islanders graduating from post-secondary institutions to gain full-time employment and allow for on-the-job training and mentorship in their field of study.
- Support for non-profit community organizations to deliver short-term projects that provide unemployed individuals with a valuable work experience to enhance skills and increase potential for long-term labour market attachment.
- Continued support for the Self Employ PEI program to support an environment to facilitate growth through small business start-up. Ensuring Island entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create their own employment will help grow the Island's economy.
Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the labour market agreements announced today, we strengthen our middle class and help more people working hard to join it.
"I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today's agreements with Prince Edward Island, 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
"Meaningful jobs are the backbone of our economy, and this investment will help over 5,000 workers in our province. We are pleased to work in collaboration with the federal government to ensure Islanders have the education and skills necessary to build a strong workforce and support economic growth for Prince Edward Island."
– The Honourable Brad Trivers, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island
- 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 consolidating funding from the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2018), the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired March 2017); and
- $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories (in addition to the $2.14 billion provided annually).
- From 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
- 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.
Workforce Development Agreements
Labour Market Development Agreement
Prince Edward Island
Workplace Skills Training program
Training PEI program
Employment Assistance Services program
Graduate Mentorship Program
Self Employ PEI program
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 developed from 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 the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2018) and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired March 2017). In addition to the $722 million provided annually to provinces and territories under the WDAs, Budget 2017 added $900 million 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, previously supported by the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers.
These agreements provide provinces and territories with the flexibility to respond to the diverse needs of their respective clients, both employers and individuals, which include members of under-represented groups.
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 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), previously only 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).
The Government of Canada as part of Budget 2018 commitments provided $230 million to better assist workers in seasonal industries, including:
- $189 million to implement a pilot project to provide up to five additional weeks of EI regular benefits to eligible seasonal claimants in 13-targeted EI regions. The additional five weeks of benefits will be available to those who start a benefit period between August 5, 2018, and May 30, 2020.
- An additional $41 million over two years, which began in 2018-19, to all provinces and territories through their LMDAs to provide skills training, wage subsidies and employment supports for workers in seasonal industries.
These supports are part of the Budget 2018 commitment to provide $230 million to assist workers in seasonal industries.
On June 28, 2018, the Government of Canada announced an additional $50 million over two years, which began in 2018-19, to all provinces through their LMDAs to provide skills training, wage subsidies and employment support for workers affected by the steel and aluminum trade disputes.
The Government makes significant investments in skills development—close to $7.5 billion annually—across more than 100 distinct programs, ranging from programs for literacy and essential skills and apprenticeships, to those that assist newcomers to Canada in entering the labour market. Almost $3 billion of this programming is delivered in partnership with the provinces, territories and Indigenous groups, and targets students and Canadians who are unemployed.
The Labour Market Development Agreements and Workforce Development Agreements are part of the robust suite of programs that support the development of key skills for Canadians—programs that encourage more people to work, including those who are traditionally under-represented in the workforce, and those who face significant barriers to employment. To help working Canadians get the skills they need to succeed in our ever-changing world, Budget 2019 proposed the new Canada Training Benefit, a flexible option for finding the time and the money needed to pursue training, improve skills, and build strong and lasting careers.
Canada Training Benefit
The Canada Training Benefit could give workers a refundable tax credit on their income tax and benefit return to help offset tuition costs for training, provide income support during training, and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand. The benefit would include:
- a Canada Training Credit, which is a new refundable tax credit that allows eligible workers to receive $250 per year towards their training amount limit, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000, to help fund future eligible tuition and fees;
- the Employment Insurance (EI) Training Support Benefit that would provide eligible workers with up to four weeks of income support, paid at 55 percent of average weekly insurable earnings, to be taken within a four-year period when they require time off work to train;
- an EI Premium Rebate for Small Businesses that would offset the upward pressure on EI premiums resulting from the new EI Training Support Benefit; and
- new leave provisions under the Canada Labour Code that would allow federally regulated workers to take time away from work to pursue training and receive the EI Training Support Benefit without risk to their job security.
The Canada Training Benefit will be available to millions of Canadian workers who have joined the workforce. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 Canadians will claim the Canada Training Credit each year. The uptake of the EI Training Support Benefit will depend on its final design.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Véronique Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P. Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour , 819-654-5611, [email protected]; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]; Hillary MacDonald, Education and Lifelong Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island, 902-394-6368, [email protected]