Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Government of Canada

Government of Canada

November 24, 2006 13:57 ET

The Governments of Canada and New Brunswick Announce Joint Investment of $4.5 Million to Introduce Women to Non-traditional Trades, Increase Financial Self-reliance

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 23, 2006) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Ed Doherty, New Brunswick Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, today announced a joint investment of $4.48 million to help introduce women receiving social assistance to skilled trades in New Brunswick.

The three-year pilot project entitled Partners Building Futures will introduce 66 women currently receiving social assistance, to a ten-week pre-employment orientation and assessment period. After this stage, Partners Building Futures will continue to offer support by assisting with training and training-related costs during an apprenticeship. These support measures continue until participants complete their second year of apprenticeship, at which point their salaries will be such that they'll be deemed self-sufficient.

This project is the first of its kind in Canada, and contains the following four objectives:

- Introduce unemployed women to the advantages of a post-secondary training environment;

- Increase female participation in skilled trades;

- Fulfill a labour market need; and

- Reduce participant reliance on employment insurance and social assistance.

In making the announcement Minister Finley said: "Canada's New Government is excited about innovative projects such as this one, which invest in the potential of Canadians. Our government has demonstrated its commitment to the skilled trades by introducing a Tool Tax Deduction, Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit and Apprenticeship Incentive Grants, but we're not stopping there. Projects like the one we're announcing today allow us to fill this labour market need through another avenue, while also introducing more women to non-traditional trades and improving their self-reliance."

Women represent only 3 per cent of the total apprenticeship registration in New Brunswick and are dramatically under-represented in the skilled trades at a time when the province is facing a significant labour market shortage in the skilled trades. Compounding this is an aging workforce and the fact that young people in New Brunswick are not choosing trades as their future occupation.

"Ensuring that New Brunswickers get the skills training they need is essential in positioning our province as a leader in economic development as detailed in our Charter For Change," said Minister Doherty. "Our government is pleased to be the first jurisdiction in Canada to receive funding under the Pan-Canadian Innovation Initiative. Through this partnership, we are giving New Brunswickers an opportunity to empower themselves with new skills and achieve self-sufficiency."

"This exciting opportunity for women exemplifies our commitment to providing New Brunswickers the skills training they need, where they need it and when they need it," said Family and Community Services Minister Carmel Robichaud, who is also the Minister responsible for the Status of Women in New Brunswick. "This represents a continued investment in providing women with more career options in non-traditional fields, while providing support to achieve self-sufficiency."

As Partners Building Futures is the first program of its kind in Canada, its successes and ability to meet objectives will be monitored and used as a guide in the development of future projects.

See attached backgrounder.

For more information, please visit, or call 1-800-O-Canada.


Pan-Canadian Innovations Initiative (PCII)

The Partners Building Futures project is delivered through the PCII-an initiative that enables the federal government and provinces and territories to partner together in testing new solutions to labour market challenges.

To ensure that Canadians enjoy sustained economic growth and prosperity, governments and their partners must continuously improve upon the range of programs and services they deliver. The labour market has changed considerably since the 1990s and existing programs and services may need to be updated to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of Canadians.

Through the Pan-Canadian Innovations Initiative, Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) will partner with provinces and territories to test new solutions to labour market issues and challenges. Our shared priorities are removing barriers to full participation in the labour market faced by immigrants, Aboriginal peoples and under-represented groups.

Through PCII, HRSDC is committed to undertake pilot projects that advance knowledge and contribute to the solution of real-world labour market challenges.

The results of these labour market tests will be shared broadly with other governments, business, industry, employers, educators and the Canadian public to support future programs, policies and services.

Contact Information

  • Minister Finley's Office
    Colleen Cameron
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
    Shawn Hearn
    Director, Marketing and Public Information
    Family and Community Services
    Lori-Jean Johnson