Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

February 22, 2008 11:47 ET

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

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - Parliamentary Secretary Lynne Yelich, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour for Saskatchewan, today signed a new agreement to help Saskatchewan workers improve their skills prepare them for the jobs of the future.

Today's announcement represents a significant Government of Canada investment in the Saskatchewan labour market while addressing employers' needs for skilled workers. Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada will invest over $90 million in Saskatchewan's labour market over the next six years.

Through this agreement, over 1000 people yearly from Saskatchewan who are not eligible for training under the Employment Insurance (EI) program will have more of a chance to improve their skills. For example, healthcare workers that want to upgrade their certifications or high school graduates working in construction who want to be certified in a trade. The funding will also help individuals too often excluded from the labour force, including Aboriginal people, immigrants and persons with disabilities, as well as workers who lack literacy and essential skills, get the training they need to obtain meaningful and sustainable employment.

"This agreement will help more people in Saskatchewan to gain access to employment and skills development programs and ensure that employers' needs for skilled workers are met, said Ms. Yelich. "The federal government is committed to 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 Saskatchewan."

"The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to sustaining our province's economic momentum and to ensuring all of our people benefit from this growth," Minister Norris said. "This agreement is critical to achieving both ends, because it will help more people to pursue their skills development goals and take advantage of Saskatchewan's remarkable job growth."

The new Canada-Saskatchewan labour market agreement comes into effect on April 1, 2008, and complements the Labour Market Development Agreement signed between the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan in 1998, 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 and Ontario this 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-Saskatchewan 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-Saskatchewan agreement are as follows:

- The new Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Agreement will inject approximately $90 million over the next six years into Saskatchewan's labour market-based on current population estimates-beginning with an investment of $15 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, older workers and other under-represented groups within the labour market; and

-- Individuals entering and re-entering into 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.

- The new agreement supports and complements key provincial labour market initiatives such as Enterprise Saskatchewan.

- Funding under the Canada-Saskatchewan Labour Market Agreement will flow through Saskatchewan's programs and services. These investments will support activities such as

-- developing Foundational Skills;

-- increasing Access to Skills Training; and

-- responding to Labour Market Needs.

- 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.

- In developing and delivering its eligible programs and services, Saskatchewan 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.

Contact Information

  • Office of Monte Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Saskatchewan Advanced Education, Employment and Labour
    Christopher Jones-Bonk
    Senior Communications Consultant
    306-798-3106
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559