TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, delivered a keynote speech at the Toronto Region Board of Trade that focused on the Government of Canada's Skills Agenda. This is the Government's plan to give Canadians the skills they need for in-demand jobs, ensuring Canada's economic prosperity for years to come.
The Minister talked about one of the greatest challenges facing the economy — the paradox of too many Canadians without jobs and too many jobs without workers — and outlined the Government of Canada's solutions, including more employer-led training, harmonization of skills training and improved labour mobility, better labour market information, and speeding up foreign credential recognition for internationally trained professionals. Minister Kenney also highlighted the Government's recent improvements to the immigration system, better aligning it with the needs of the Canadian economy. Access to a highly skilled workforce is essential to ensuring employers will be able to fill the pending skills gaps left by retiring baby boomers.
Minister Kenney stressed the importance of enhancing under-represented groups' participation in the workforce, such as aboriginal peoples, newcomers and youth. He highlighted initiatives and investments related to skills training and improving labour market inclusion for all Canadians, such as the Canada Job Grant, the Youth Employment Strategy, Apprenticeship Grants, and the Government's initiatives for Aboriginal Skills training.
The Minister also talked about the tremendous opportunities on the horizon for the Canadian economy and the need for all key players, including the private sector, provinces and territories, and post-secondary institutions to work together to ensure Canadians are prepared for the opportunities to come.
- In the next 5 years, the Toronto region alone will need to fill 520,000 jobs, according to a recent report by the Toronto Region Board of Trade.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, Ontario is losing out on as much as $24.3 billion in economic activity and $3.7 billion in provincial tax revenues annually because employers cannot find people with the skills they need in their businesses.
- Hundreds of major resource projects, worth $650 billion in investment, are projected to come on stream in Canada in the next decade.
- In the next 10 years, Canada is expected to need 300,000 new workers in the construction sector and up to another 150,000 new workers in the petroleum sector as well as 145,000 new workers in the mining sector by 2020.
"Our Government is focused on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Our Government's Skills Agenda is our plan to ensure that Canadians have the skills they need for today's in-demand jobs. By ensuring that Canadians have the skills employers are looking for, we can fix this paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many jobs without Canadians."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Alexandra Fortier, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected], Follow us on Twitter