An estimated 16,000 more Saskatchewan workers to benefit
GATINEAU, QC, March 8, 2019 /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 Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan's Minister of Immigration and Career Training, announced that both governments have signed agreements for Canada to provide Saskatchewan with nearly $500 million over six years; an investment in Saskatchewan's labour force.
These new agreements represent an increase in funding of over $70 million, in comparison to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 16,000 more Saskatchewan workers will benefit over six years; more jobs and skills training will be available to people in Saskatchewan, including apprenticeship training, employment assistance for persons with disabilities, adult basic education, employer-sponsored training and more. Through these 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 persons with disabilities, visibile minorities, women and Indigenous Peoples.
As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, Saskatchewan residents and all Canadians are met with new challenges and new opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever to ensure everybody can benefit from an innovation-driven economy, which means ensuring both employed and unemployed people have a chance to learn the skills they will need for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.
Results matter, and the reason why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. Canada and Saskatchewan will be measuring how these programs are increasing people's earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and can be continually improved.
The agreements announced today are the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA).
The Workforce Development Agreement will help Saskatchewan deliver training and services, such as:
- The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, which allows new and existing employees to increase their knowledge and skills through training jointly funded by employers and government.
- The Workforce Development for People with Disabilities Program, which helps to remove the barriers that people with disabilities face in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment.
- The Adult Basic Education (ABE) program, which helps adults improve their literacy and essential skills.
Funding under the Labour Market Development Agreement will allow Saskatchewan to help more people and more employers meet their needs, through measures such as:
- Apprenticeship training.
- Labour market services, including career guidance, employment services, labour market information, and assistance navigating options for training and education.
- Canada-Saskatchewan Rapid Response Teams, which provide support services for businesses and workers affected by production slowdowns or layoffs.
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 hard to join it.
"I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today's agreements with Saskatchewan, we're ensuring Canadian workers continue to be 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 Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
"Saskatchewan's population continues to grow and our economy is diversifying. Future growth hinges on our province's ability to better match workers to jobs, training to the needs of employers and employees, and build skills in our resilient workforce.
– The Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Immigration and Career Training for Saskatchewan
- 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 the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired in March 2018) and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in 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, which was 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 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), 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).
More recently, the Government of Canada announced the following new supports to better support workers in seasonal employment:
The Government of Canada invested $189 million to implement a new 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. Saskatchewan is not part of the pilot project.
- The Government is also making available $41 million over two years to all provinces and territories through their Labour Market Development Agreements 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.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Véronique Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, [email protected], 819-654-5611; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]; Deb Young, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training, Government of Saskatchewan, 306-787-4765, [email protected]