“There is no single, magic solution to skills needs across Canada” writes the Forum of Labour Market Ministers in a position paper on to the Canada Job Grant proposal titled Building Skills Together ( adapted quotes to follow), .
We all agree that engaging employers in improving the skills of their employees is important to effective training. This is a central pillar of the proposed Canada Job Grant. However, provinces and territories are also unanimous in our belief that the proposed Canada Job Grant, a one-size-fits-all program, is not the best tool to meet this objective.
Here is why:
- When fully implemented, the proposal would take $600 million per year away from programs for vulnerable workers, and the Canada Job Grant is not likely to support these vulnerable clients.
- Only clients who have an employer would be eligible for support, so vulnerable clients who do not have a job would not be supported.
- The federal government has provided no evidence that the proposal will help workers or employers. However, it would divert funding from existing provincial and territorial programs that are delivering good results.
- The proposal lacks flexibility and would limit the ability of provinces and territories to respond to varying labour market needs (e.g., because it allows only short-term training, restricts eligible training providers, and imposes one-grant-per-employee rules).
- Small and medium-sized businesses may not have sufficient resources to participate.
- Implementation of the Canada Job Grant could destabilize the existing service delivery networks and have a negative effect on programs and clients.
The LMA and LMAPD both expire on March 31, 2014. The issues to be resolved are complex, but failing to reach new agreements could have serious consequences.
Need for broad Engagement
To date, the discussion of the renewal of the Labour Market Agreement, including the proposed Canada Job Grant, has been narrowly focused and not sufficiently inclusive. The federal government has consulted with a small group of stakeholders. However, they have not consulted with provinces and territories, or with employers or training providers in northern Canada to ensure that the labour market funding agreements serve the unique needs of workers and employers in the north.
This conversation is too important to be less than thorough and comprehensive. We need a broad discussion involving the full range of groups that will be impacted.
Provinces and territories are taking a leadership role and broadening the conversation. We
are engaging with community groups, service providers, employers, industry organizations, the non-profit sector, and other interested groups in identifying what is at stake and how our public employment and training programs can best be supported and improved.
Ensuring that all Canadians, including vulnerable workers, are able to participate in the labour market and that workers have the skills that employers require is a priority for all provinces and territories. Provinces and territories look forward to working with the federal government to ensure that labour market funding agreements support programs that work for all regions and labour markets across Canada.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at