Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


September 11, 2009 12:30 ET

Governments of Canada and New Brunswick Help Older Workers Get New Jobs

EEL RIVER CROSSING, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2009) - The governments of Canada and New Brunswick are working in partnership to help older workers remain active in the workforce by investing over $10 million and extending the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers until March 2012. This support will help up to 1,000 older workers in New Brunswick acquire new skills and find jobs.

Senator Percy Mockler, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with the Honourable Donald Arseneault, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for New Brunswick, announced today three new projects funded through this partnership. These projects will help up to 110 older workers from the Restigouche-Chaleur, Acadian Peninsula, and Northumberland/Miramichi regions.

"When Canadians, including older workers, lose their jobs, we want to help them get back into the workforce as soon as possible," said Senator Mockler. "Every region has different needs, and that is why we are working closely with New Brunswick to ensure that older workers receive the support, training and skills development opportunities they need to find jobs and adapt to economic changes."

"We are investing in our people so they are better educated and multi-skilled," added Minister Arseneault. "Considering the present labour market situation, combined with the exodus of the population in some regions, the hiring of older workers through this initiative is an interesting option for employers."

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is designed to help unemployed older workers living in communities affected by high unemployment and/or downsizing. Through the Initiative, these individuals can get the skills they need to find and keep new jobs, or start their own business, in order to keep contributing to their communities and Canada's economy.

Activities undertaken through this initiative will involve promoting the value of older workers to employers, delivering training workshops, matching the participants with employers to help them gain new work experience and supporting them throughout their placements.

The original agreement between the two governments was signed in 2007. Through this funding, the Government of New Brunswick was able to implement three projects in three different communities. These projects have helped up to 180 unemployed older workers get training, find new jobs or become self-employed.

Under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government is providing an additional $60 million nationally for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers over three years. This investment could allow up to 6,000 more participants across the country to benefit from the specialized support they need to transition to new jobs. This funding builds on previous investments in Budget 2006, which committed $70 million to implement the Initiative, and Budget 2008, which extended the Initiative to March 31, 2012, with an additional investment of $90 million.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit the following Web site:

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


About the program

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that provides employment assistance services and activities, such as skills upgrading and work experience, to improve the employability of unemployed older workers aged 55 to 64 living in vulnerable communities. To date, over 4,000 workers across Canada have been helped through this initiative.

About the new projects

The New Start/Nouveau Depart! 55+ projects will run in the Restigouche-Chaleur, Acadian Peninsula and Northumberland/Miramichi regions, and will help up to 110 unemployed older workers gain access to job opportunities.

The projects will support the community and economic development of each region by targeting employers in sectors facing labour shortages, in order to help them address their human resources needs.

As well as providing work experience to participants, employers will help develop short-term training programs, which will include basic essential skills, prior learning recognition, employment assistance, and specific skills training.


The project is receiving joint funding of $698,282 in order to help up to 50 participants in the region.


The project is expected to help up to 30 participants. It will receive joint funding of $507,597.

Acadian Peninsula

The project will help up to 30 participants in this region and will receive joint funding of $454,558.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
    Marie-Josee Groulx