Studying international best practices to improve training and job opportunities for Canadians
GATINEAU, QC, March 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today leaves for Germany and the United Kingdom, where he begins a six-day tour to study their respective skills training systems. Minister Kenney will be accompanied by provincial government representatives as well as business, labour and educational and training leaders.
During the visit, the delegation will observe Germany's approach to education and training, which has resulted in a low youth unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Germany's "dual" apprenticeship model puts employers at the centre of the system to combine training in the workplace and classroom studies so that young people gain practical work experience and training that reflect the needs of the labour market.
The delegation will also travel to the United Kingdom to study recent improvements to its apprenticeship and training system. While there, the delegation will meet with Doug Richard, who reviewed England's apprenticeship system at the request of the British government and recommended improvements that would address the needs of its changing economy.
- Minister Kenney will be accompanied by a substantial delegation to study skills training models in Germany and the United Kingdom, including representatives from provincial governments and stakeholders.
- Germany has 7.8 percent youth unemployment and one of the strongest labour markets in Europe; comparatively, the European Union has a youth unemployment rate of 23.3 percent. Canada's current youth unemployment rate sits at 13.6 percent.
- During the UK portion of the tour, the delegation will visit the British Airport Authority Academy at Heathrow Airport, which offers an innovative four-year engineering program in partnership with four colleges. During the program, which combines on-the-job training with academic study, apprentices learn the skills needed to become fully qualified electrical, mechanical or electronic technicians.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes several measures to ensure training reflects the needs of the labour market and Canadians have the skills to take advantage of the jobs and opportunities available to them, such as the Canada Apprentice Loan, which could provide up to $4,000 in interest-free loans for apprentices registered in their first Red Seal trade.
- The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories on the creation of the Canada Job Grant, which will ensure that employers participate meaningfully in skills training and lead to guaranteed jobs.
"Our government's top priority is creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. I'm pleased to be leading a delegation of provincial representatives, employers, educators, trainers and labour organizations to study the German and British systems to learn how we can apply best practices to Canada in order to improve our labour market system. Our government is committed to helping ensure Canadians receive the skills training needed to obtain the well-paying jobs available across the country."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"I am honoured to be invited on this innovative Canadian mission to learn directly about leading European skills training systems. Given Saskatchewan's robust labour market and our government's ongoing commitment to our students, including our First Nations and Métis learners, we welcome fresh perspectives on ways to better connect learning to earning. Joining this mission reflects the importance of working in partnership with our federal government, industry leaders and our post-secondary institutions."
- The Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Saskatchewan
"We congratulate the Minister on his leadership in spearheading this initiative, and we look forward to learning with him about specific measures that can be adopted in Canada. Looking abroad at successful job training and apprenticeship systems that address the needs of industry is a move in the right direction, one that can help address the skilled trades challenges facing the residential construction industry."
- Kevin Lee, CEO, Canadian Home Builders' Association
"We look forward to a first-hand appreciation of the outcomes of the German and British advanced vocational education and training, including finding common links to the applied education offered by Canada's polytechnic institutions and colleges. We are eager to learn new best practices that can assist our training institutions to more effectively and efficiently build the made-in-Canada talent that the country's employers need."
- Nobina Robinson, CEO, Polytechnics Canada
"We applaud Minister Kenney for his efforts in organizing this important delegation and are eager to learn more about German and British training models. Germany's strong economic performance underlines the importance of employer involvement in training to ensure that tax dollars go as far as possible to maximize the number of workers getting the right skills for real jobs."
- Sean Reid, Vice President, Federal and Ontario, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
"We think the Canadian delegation to Germany and the United Kingdom makes sense given the critical junction of the Canadian labour market and economic progress achieved thus far since 2009. Examination of training systems in the world which are working well and improving the patchwork of approaches to training delivery in Canada is a common-sense approach. The most critical component in any economy is having the right people trained, at the right place, at the right time for employers. We hope to work with Minister Kenney and his team in a meaningful way, both on the trip to visit international partners and when we return to Canada. Getting the training thing right is key in the economy. Canada has too much economic success at stake to move forward without major adjustments to our national training system."
- Christopher Smillie, Senior Advisor, Government Relations and Public Affairs, Canadian Building Trades, AFL-CIO, Canadian Office
Economic Action Plan 2014
Innovative Approaches to Skills Training: Germany and United Kingdom - Participant List
Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Jason Kenney
Minister of Employment and Social Development
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development
The Honourable Rob Norris
Minister of Advanced Education
Provincial officials from Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Alberta
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
National Association of Career Colleges
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Canadian Home Builders' Association
Christian Labour Association of Canada
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Saskatchewan Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO
Canadian Building Trades, AFL-CIO
Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Council of Chief Executives
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
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