Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
GOVERNMENT OF NEW BRUNSWICK

GOVERNMENT OF NEW BRUNSWICK

February 29, 2008 12:00 ET

Governments of Canada and New Brunswick Sign a New Agreement on Training and Skills Development That Will Help Prepare the People of New Brunswick for Jobs of The Future

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2008) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Ed Doherty, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for New Brunswick, today signed a new agreement to help New Brunswick workers improve their skills and prepare them for the jobs of the future.

Today's announcement represents a significant Government of Canada investment in the people of New Brunswick, and it will also go a long way towards addressing employers' needs for skilled workers. Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada will invest over $68 million in New Brunswick's labour market over the next six years.

Through this agreement, residents of New Brunswick who are not eligible for training under the Employment Insurance (EI) program will have a better chance to improve their skills. This funding will be used to partner with employers to dramatically improve the adult literacy rate of New Brunswick's workforce. It may also help individuals move from low skilled work to better jobs in occupations such as health care and construction. Unemployed New Brunswickers who are not eligible for training assistance under EI will also benefit from these investments; this includes groups who are under-represented in the labour market, for example Aboriginal people, immigrants and person with disabilities.

"Now more people in New Brunswick will be able to get the employment and skills development programs they want, and at the same time the agreement will help fill gaps in the skilled labour market," said Minister Solberg. "The federal government is committed to helping people who work hard, pay their taxes, and play by the rules. With this agreement, our economic plan will continue to pay dividends for families in New Brunswick."

"This agreement provides the flexibility we need to more effectively develop our workforce and achieve our goal of self-sufficiency," said Minister Doherty. "It demonstrates the high priority that this government places on skills development to transform our workforce, as reflected in the Charter for Change. We want to make the best use of the skills and talents of all New Brunswickers so they may be able to contribute to our economy and be successful in New Brunswick."

"I am pleased to see the governments of Canada and New Brunswick sign this agreement to enhance skills and learning opportunities," said Mr. Robert Manning, Chair of Enterprise Saint John. "We are looking forward to working with them to make sure the new programs will meet both business and employee needs and that all New Brunswickers, with or without jobs, will have access to new programming."

The new Canada-New Brunswick labour market agreement comes into effect on April 1, 2008, and complements the Labour Market Development Agreement signed between the Government of Canada and New Brunswick in 1996, under which the Province assumed responsibility for designing and delivering employment programs and services for unemployed people eligible under the EI program.

Today's agreement helps fulfill the commitment made in the Government of Canada's economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the 2007 federal budget to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. Similar agreements were signed with British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan last week, and other agreements are being negotiated with other provinces and territories and will be signed in the coming weeks and months.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Visit the new Human Resources and Social Development Canada Web site at www.hrsdc.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Under the new Labour Market Agreements, the Government of Canada will invest $500 million annually over the next six fiscal years to increase the quantity and enhance the quality of Canada's labour force. These resources will be allocated to the provinces and territories on an equal per capita basis. The Canada- New Brunswick Labour Market Agreement helps fulfill the commitment made in the Government of Canada's economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the 2007 federal budget to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world.

The main elements of the Canada-New Brunswick agreement are as follows:

- The new Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreement will inject over $68 million over the next six years into New Brunswick's labour market-based on current population estimates-beginning with an investment of $11.4 million in 2008-2009. It comes into effect on April 1, 2008.


- The new investments will focus on supporting skills development for unemployed individuals who are not eligible for training assistance under the EI program, including groups who are under-represented in the labour market, such as

- Aboriginal people, immigrants, persons with disabilities, youth, women, and older workers; and

- individuals entering and re-entering the work force.


- Under these arrangements, the new resources will also help to provide training for employed individuals who are low-skilled and do not have a high school diploma or a recognized credential, or have low levels of literacy and lack essential skills.


- Funding under the Canada- New Brunswick Labour Market Agreement will flow through New Brunswick's programs and services. New Brunswick will direct the new investments to two priority areas:

- unemployed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance, including: social assistance recipients; immigrants; persons with disabilities; older workers; youth; Aboriginal peoples; new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market; and unemployed individuals previously self-employed; and,

- employed individuals who are low skilled, in particular, employed individuals who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized certification or who have low levels of literacy and essential skills.


- The Labour Market Agreements contain a robust accountability framework that includes commitments related to:

- the development of annual plans and the engagement of stakeholders;

- the stewardship of financial resources provided under the agreement;

- the measurement of the outcomes and benefits of investments in three areas-participants, service delivery and participant impacts;

- regular public reporting of results achieved; and

- regular review and evaluation of activities.


- These new arrangements also contain a commitment to ensure that the new federal investments do not displace normal provincial expenditures within the labour market.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Monte Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary
    Education Training and Labour
    Andrew Holland
    Communications
    506-444-5655