OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, delivered a keynote speech today at the Building Meaning Project National Roundtable organized by Cardus.
In his speech, Minister Kenney reiterated that a career in the skilled trades is just as valuable as going to university and getting an academic degree. He explained that employers, unions, educators and governments need to work together in order to make a compelling case to young Canadians for a future in the skilled trades, where more workers will be needed to ensure Canada's continued economic growth.
Minister Kenney outlined the Government's plan to help Canadians get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in the trades. He highlighted the Government's initiatives and investments related to skills training and apprenticeships, which include the creation of the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant that together represent $4,000 available to students who go through their apprenticeship programs and the Canada Job Grant, an innovative, employer-driven approach that leads to a guaranteed job in the trades.
- 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.
- According to Colleges and Institutes Canada, in less than 10 years, employers will not be able to find qualified candidates for 1.5 million job openings.
- In the next 10 years, Canada is expected to need 300,000 new workers in the construction sector and 145,000 new workers in the mining sector. Canada will also need another 150,000 new workers in the petroleum sector by 2020.
"The Government of Canada's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. Through measures like the Canada Job Grant, the Canada Apprentice Loan and apprenticeship grants, the Government of Canada is helping Canadians get well-paying jobs and helping employers get the skilled workforce they need. I encourage young people to pursue a future in the skilled trades if they want rewarding, valuable and well-paying careers."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"While many equate the trades with drudgery, those who work in the trades know it's about opportunities. It affords Canadians the opportunity to earn a great living, to exercise creativity and to achieve their potential buy using both their bodies and their minds. We at Cardus are committed to working with industry, labour, educators and others to make sure Canadians think of the trades as a viable career option. The willingness of Minister Kenney to lend his voice to that project speaks to the critical importance of renewing the place of skilled trades in Canadian economic and social life. We're grateful for his leadership on this important issue."
– Brian Dijkema, Program Director, Work and Economics, Cardus
"We are thrilled to support 'The Building Meaning Project'. CLAC believes in the inherent dignity of work. Raising the stature of work in the trades will not only help the Canadian economy, but also the lives of all Canadians."
– Dick Heinen, Executive Director, Christian Labour Association of Canada
"Working in the skilled trades is a lot more than just having a job and a job that takes training to achieve threshold competency, it is joining a fellowship of other men and women who have similar skills and to work together to accomplish things that are simply miraculous. It is not a job in which someone builds a house, a public building or a nuclear power plant—it is building this country."
– Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, Canada's Building Trades Unions
"Canada faces an enormous economic opportunity on the strength of our thriving construction industry, but that opportunity depends on our ability to grow a robust, inclusive and highly skilled workforce. Building our construction workforce of the future must start with restoring the fundamental dignity of work in the trades, in the eyes of Canadians. Employers play a central role in that endeavor, along with labour unions, educators, governments and parents. That's why PCA is so pleased to be part of this important project."
– Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)
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