April 19, 2013 -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper today launched consultations with businesses on the Canada Job Grant, an Economic Action Plan 2013 initiative that will create jobs by transforming the way Canadians receive skills training.
He was accompanied by Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant.
“I am pleased to launch consultations on the Canada Job Grant,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “The Canada Job Grant will take skills-training choices out of the hands of government and put them where they belong: in the hands of employers with unfilled jobs and Canadians who want to work.”
Training in Canada is not sufficiently aligned to the skills employers need or to the jobs that are actually available. There are too many jobs that go unfilled in Canada because employers can’t find workers with the right skills. Meanwhile, there are still too many Canadians looking for work.
The Canada Job Grant will transform the way Canadians receive training. Canadians who have an offer for a new job or a better job may qualify for up to $15,000 or more to learn new skills to accept the new or better job, from a $5,000 maximum federal contribution and matching contributions from an employer and province or territory.
Today’s consultation in Brantford is the first of a series of consultations that will take place with stakeholder groups such as employer associations, educational institutions and labour organizations on the design of the Canada Job Grant.
The Government of Canada is committed to creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and ensuring long-term prosperity. To this end, on April 19, 2013, Prime Minister Harper participated in the first consultation on the Canada Job Grant, an Economic Action Plan 2013 initiative that will help match skills training with employment demands across the country.
The Canada Job Grant will help ensure Canadians are able to obtain the skills and qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. The Grant will transform the way Canadians receive skills training by placing decisions in the hands of employers and Canadian workers. It could provide support of $15,000 or more per person, from a $5,000 maximum federal contribution and matching contributions from an employer and a province or territory. Once fully implemented, nearly 130,000 Canadians each year will have access to the training they need to find work or improve their skills.
The Grant will be for short-duration training, and will include eligible training institutions, including community colleges, career colleges and trade union training centres. Businesses with a plan to train unemployed and underemployed Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant.
Through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Canada Job Grant – which is expected to be implemented in 2014-2015 – will be the centerpiece of Labour Market Agreements between the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories, accounting for $300 million a year of the Agreements’ $500 million annual investments at maturity. The Labour Market Agreements were previously introduced in Budget 2007, with an expiry date of March 2014, to assist Canadians who are low-skilled or not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has taken measures to support skills training across the country, including:
- Providing post-secondary education loans and grants;
- Encouraging careers in the skilled trades through apprenticeship grants;
- Developing the Aboriginal workforce by linking training to labour market demand;
- Supporting workplace literacy and essential skills development;
- Helping older workers return to work;
- Selecting immigrants based on their potential to benefit Canada’s economy; and,
- Facilitating recognition of foreign credentials.
Partly due to these initiatives, employment has increased by over 898,000 since July 2009.
Canada Job Grant Consultations
The first consultation on the Canada Job Grant was held in Brantford, Ontario. In addition to the Prime Minister, participants included representatives from medium and large businesses.
A number of consultations will be held to discuss the development of the Canada Job Grant, as part of the renewal of Labour Market Agreements. The detailed design of the Grant will be negotiated with provinces and territories over the next year in consultation with stakeholders, including employer associations, educational institutions and labour organizations.
The Government of Canada values hearing directly from people involved in skills and employment training initiatives. Their insight is a valuable tool to help determine how best to implement the Canada Job Grant.