Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Nova Scotia

June 13, 2008 12:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia Sign New Training and Skills Development Agreements to Prepare Nova Scotians for Jobs of the Future

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - June 13, 2008) - Low-skilled and unemployed workers will be better prepared to be part of Nova Scotia's growing economy, thanks to two new federal-provincial agreements signed today by the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development for Nova Scotia.

The first agreement, a new Labour Market Agreement (LMA), will inject approximately $85 million over the next six years into the Nova Scotia labour market for provincial programs to help Nova Scotians upgrade their skills in a variety of sectors, such as information technology, health care and construction. The funding will be used to help individuals often excluded from the labour force, including Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities, to gain access to the training they need to find good quality jobs.

Through the second agreement, a new Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), Nova Scotia will be responsible for the design and delivery of $81 million annually in Employment Insurance-funded employment benefits and support measures. This will provide the Province with the flexibility to focus job training programs and employment supports on the local and regional needs of both employers and clients. The Province will assume this responsibility as of July 1, 2009.

"Today's announcement will help thousands of people in Nova Scotia get the employment and skills development programs they want, and at the same time it will help fill gaps in the skilled labour market," said Minister Solberg. "We made an important commitment in our long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada, to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. With today's agreements, we are one step closer to getting this done in Nova Scotia."

"These agreements will help more Nova Scotians to reach their full skills and employment potential, and therefore help Nova Scotia reach its full economic potential," said Minister Parent. "The LMA and LMDA are part of a larger labour market strategy, established under the provincial Skills Framework, to stimulate prosperity in Nova Scotia."

Both ministers noted that developing a strong work force continues to be a team effort in Nova Scotia, involving government, business, schools and community-based organizations.

"I am optimistic that today's announcement will build on the existing working relationships between government and third party agencies like ours, and provide enhanced programs for our clients," said Ms. Janice Ainsworth, Executive Director of TEAM Work Cooperative, a centralized employment service that supports employment and business opportunities for persons with disabilities.

As part of the agreement for the Province to assume responsibility for delivering services under the LMDA, federal employees currently doing this work in Nova Scotia will receive a job offer with the provincial government to continue their work. Discussions are now underway to promote a smooth transition for these employees and to ensure continuity of service to the individuals served under the LMDA.

The signature of these two labour market agreements fulfills commitments made in the Government of Canada's long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the recent federal budget to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. Similar agreements have been signed with several provinces, and further agreements are being negotiated with other provinces and territories and will be signed in the coming months.

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



BACKGROUNDER

The signature of these two labour market agreements fulfills commitments made in the Government of Canada's economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the recent federal budgets to create the best-educated, most-skilled, and most flexible work force in the world.

Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement

Under the new Labour Market Agreements, the Government of Canada will invest $500 million annually over the next six 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 new Canada-Nova Scotia LMA will inject approximately $85 million over the next six years into the Nova Scotia labour market - based on current population estimates-beginning with an investment of $14.2 million in 2008-2009.

The new investments will focus on supporting skills development for unemployed and low-skilled employed individuals who are not eligible for training assistance under the Employment Insurance (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.

The goals of the Canada-Nova Scotia agreement are as follows:

- to increase the participation of Nova Scotians in the work force to meet current and future labour requirements;

- to enhance the quality of skills development; and

- to facilitate work force mobility and provide clients with the information necessary to make informed labour market choices.

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 management of financial resources provided under the agreement;

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

- 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.

In developing and delivering its eligible programs and services, Nova Scotia agrees to take into account the needs of the official language minority communities within the province, and to deliver, where there is significant demand, services in either official language.

Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement

- Under the new Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), the Province assumes responsibility for the design and delivery of EI-funded employment benefits and support measures. Almost $81 million per year will be provided from the Government of Canada for this purpose.

- The new agreement replaces the existing co-managed LMDA signed in 1997, under which the federal government retained responsibility for the design and delivery of EI-funded Employment Benefits and Support Measures. Labour Market Development Agreements have been successfully transferred in eight other provinces and territories.

- The Canada-Nova Scotia LMDA supports funding for labour market programs and services for Nova Scotia residents who are now collecting EI benefits or have received them in the last three years or for parents re-entering the labour force who have collected EI parental benefits in the last five years. Last year, almost 15,000 unemployed Nova Scotians benefited from EI-funded programs and services.

- The Nova Scotia programs and services delivered under this agreement will be similar to the benefits and measures offered by the federal government under the previous agreement, including Job Creation Partnerships, Skills Development, Wage Supplements, Self-Employment Assistance, Employment Assistance Services and Labour Market Partnerships.

- In developing and delivering their eligible programs, Nova Scotia agrees to take into account the needs of the official language minority communities within the province and to deliver, where there is significant demand, services in either official language.

- The LMDA contains a robust accountability framework that includes financial management, performance measurement, regular public reporting on results, and ongoing review and evaluation.

- The Government of Canada retains responsibility for income support under Part I of the Employment Insurance Act. This agreement does not affect the delivery of Part I benefits for EI eligible individuals.

- Under the agreement to have Nova Scotia assume responsibility for delivering employment programs and services under the LMDA, federal employees currently delivering programs and services in Nova Scotia will be offered a job with the provincial government. The details of the employee transfer will be worked out with Nova Scotia in a subsequent agreement. As was the case in the eight other jurisdictions where similar transfer arrangements have been implemented over the years, there will be open communication with employees in the coming days and weeks on transition.

- The new LMDA will be fully implemented by July 1, 2009. Until then, the Government of Canada, through Service Canada, will continue to deliver EI-funded employment programming in Nova Scotia. The Province has also agreed to ensure continuity of service by continuing agreements with third party service providers for up to two years.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Nova Scotia Labour and Workforce Development
    Kevin Finch
    902-424-0847