Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan
Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

October 10, 2012 17:00 ET

Governments of Canada and British Columbia Team Up to Help Unemployed Older Workers

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2012) - Unemployed older workers in British Columbia are receiving help to improve their skills to re-enter the workforce through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW). The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister responsible for Labour, announced today that the Canada-British Columbia TIOW agreement has been extended to March 31, 2014.

"Our Government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians and we believe it is absolutely critical to address the challenges of labour and skills shortages," said Minister Finley. "Through the renewal of the Canada- British Columbia Targeted Initiative for Older Workers agreement, we are helping 1,350 unemployed older workers across British Columbia develop new skills so they can make the transition to new jobs."

By extending this agreement to 2014, the governments of Canada and British Columbia will invest a further $6.5 million to support older workers living in smaller communities throughout the province. This is in addition to the more than $30.6 million in federal and provincial funding that has been made available since the TIOW agreement was signed in 2007. To date, over 4,000 individuals living in British Columbia have been given the opportunity to participate in TIOW projects to develop their employability skills and take advantage of work experience opportunities.

"By working with the federal government on programs like the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers we are leveraging an important resource in our economy - older workers," said Minister Bell. "Using labour market programs like these and others under the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement help British Columbia capitalize on the human resources we already have in this province so we get the right people the right skills to fill the over one million jobs we expect in BC by 2020."

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is one of the Government of Canada's initiatives to help unemployed Canadians stay connected to the job market, while at the same time addressing Canada's labour shortages.

To date, the TIOW has helped more than 18,500 unemployed older workers across Canada retrain for new careers in support of the Government of Canada's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce.

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The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-sharing initiative that provides individuals with employment assistance services such as résumé writing and counselling, and employability improvement activities such as skills upgrading and work experience. The TIOW assists unemployed older workers aged 55 to 64, and living in a city or town with a population of 250,000 or less that is experiencing high unemployment, significant downsizing or closures.

The Government of Canada launched the TIOW in the fall of 2006 with a commitment of $70 million for programming to March 31, 2009. In Budget 2008, another $90 million was invested to extend the Initiative for three years to March 2012. Canada's Economic Action Plan provided an additional $60 million over that same period. In 2011, the Action Plan made available another $50 million to extend the TIOW to March 31, 2014, and Budget 2012 recently reiterated this commitment.

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada