TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, delivered a keynote speech today at the Canadian Club of Toronto that focused on the Government of Canada's plan to give Canadians the skills they need for available jobs, thus ensuring the prosperity of the Canadian economy for years to come.
Minister Kenney outlined the steps the Government of Canada is taking to strengthen Canada's economic prosperity, including increasing employer-led training, harmonizing skills training and improving labour mobility, providing better labour market information, and speeding up the foreign credential recognition process for internationally trained professionals. Minister Kenney also highlighted the Government's recent improvements to the immigration system to better align it with the needs of the Canadian economy. Access to a highly skilled workforce is essential to making sure employers will be able to fill the pending skills gaps left by retiring baby boomers.
Minister Kenney also emphasized the importance of enhancing underrepresented groups' participation in the workforce and outlined initiatives such as the Youth Employment Strategy, which has helped 610,000 youth since its launch in 2006 and the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which has helped over 190,000 Aboriginal people get the skills they need for jobs since its launch in 2010.
The Minister also talked about the tremendous opportunities in the Canadian economy's horizon and the need for all key players, including the provinces and territories, the private sector and post-secondary institutions to work together to ensure Canadians are prepared for the opportunities to come.
- 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, with up to another 150,000 new workers in the petroleum sector and 145,000 new workers in the mining sector by 2020.
- 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.
"Our Government is focused on creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Through our Skills Agenda, we will work to make sure that Canadians have the skills that are in demand in today's economy. By ensuring that Canadians have the skills employers are looking for, we can address the skills gap and fix this paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many jobs without people"
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
Canada's Economic Action Plan
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]