Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 23, 2009 19:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Canadians by Investing in Skills Training and Social Housing Construction

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today spoke to members of the Canadian Association of Women in Construction about how Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing in skills training and social housing construction.

"Our Government understands that being competitive and productive means ensuring that Canadians have the skills and training to adapt to a changing global market," said Minister Finley. "That is why Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing an unprecedented $8.3 billion in the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy."

Canada's Economic Action Plan demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to do what it takes to help Canadians in this current economy. The Government is taking action to help Canadians, including investments to build new and renovate existing social housing, as well as making available direct low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure projects. This will not only create new construction jobs, but also improve social housing.

Targeted and timely investments in skills training and construction are just two of the ways the Government of Canada is supporting Canadians and the economy in these tough economic times. Social housing, home improvements and job training are investments with both an immediate and a long-term return.

The construction industry in Canada represents significant career and business opportunities for women in a variety of trade, technical and professional fields. In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of women working in the construction trades. From 2001 to 2006, the number of women completing their apprenticeship training in the construction trades increased by 59 per cent (1).

Encouraging apprenticeships is part of the Government's strategy to ensure that Canada has the highly skilled and mobile workforce the country needs. To demonstrate that commitment, Canada's Economic Action Plan introduced the new Apprenticeship Completion Grant to complement the existing Apprenticeship Incentive Grant. The Completion Grant provides $2,000 to apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and become certified journeypersons in a designated Red Seal trade. This grant is on top of the $2,000 apprentices can receive through the Incentive Grant.

Other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan to improve skills training among Canadians include:

- increasing funding by $1 billion for training delivered through the Employment Insurance (EI) program over two years;

- investing $500 million over two years in a Strategic Training and Transition Fund to support the particular needs of workers, whether or not they qualify for EI, including those who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time;

- providing an additional $175 million over three years to support Aboriginal skills development and training; and

- providing additional funding for key programs aimed at supporting older workers, young Canadians, apprentices and foreign credential recognition.

Canada's Economic Action Plan also strengthens our country's economy with the following investments in social housing and home construction and renovation:

- up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities to fund housing-related infrastructure;

- a one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new and renovate existing social housing, including:

- $1 billion for existing social housing renovation and retrofit;
- $600 million for new housing and repairs to existing social housing on
reserve and in the North;
- $400 million for new housing for low-income seniors; and
- $75 million for new housing for people with disabilities.

These new investments in the housing sector will improve quality of life for residents in many communities, and will ensure that these homes continue to be available to meet the needs of future generations. They will also help Canadians on fixed incomes live with independence and dignity and remain in their communities, close to family and friends. Canada's goals with respect to climate change and the environment will also be addressed, as energy efficiency is a high priority for any work funded under these investments.

By investing in skills training and social housing construction, the Government of Canada is investing in the well-being of Canadians and of the economy.

(1) Statistic Canada's Registered Apprenticeship Information System.

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Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office