HALIFAX, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - In a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, highlighted how government and industry must work together to ensure Canadians have the skills and training needed for jobs in demand in the Canadian economy. He explained that this is the route to Canada's future economic opportunities and continued prosperity.
In his address, Minister Kenney said the path to success includes more employer-led training and faster foreign credential recognition for internationally trained professionals, as well as better labour market information. He also pointed to the need to harmonize apprenticeship training across jurisdictions, an area where the Atlantic Provinces are leading the way, and underscored the benefits of the Government's recent improvements to the immigration system, which include quicker access to highly skilled professionals.
Minister Kenney pointed to programs and policies that the Government has put in place since 2006 that are benefiting Canadians and ensuring employers have access to a highly skilled workforce, which is essential to fill the pending skills gaps left by retiring baby boomers.
Earlier in the day, Minister Kenney also toured the Irving Shipyard in Halifax and spoke with employees and management about the Government of Canada's support for skills training and training for apprentices, two crucial needs as Irving Shipbuilding prepares to build combat ships in support of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The Minister took note of the advancements being made in the working model project involving local Aboriginal communities—a project supported by the Government of Canada with an investment of $6 million under ESDC's Skills and Partnership Fund.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, Halifax's economy is expected to grow by over 2.5 percent in 2014.
- The Government of Canada is helping Canadians get the skills employers are looking for with the
- Canada Job Grant and the Apprenticeship Incentive and Completion Grants. The Government also offers tax credits, such as the tuition, education and textbook tax credits, tradesperson's tools deduction and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
- The Canada Apprentice Loan provides apprentices registered in Red Seal trades with interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to complete their technical training. At least 26,000 apprentices are expected to apply annually.
- Through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, federal departments and agencies have been working in partnership with Irving Shipbuilding and Aboriginal leaders to anticipate industry needs and train potential workers to access increased job opportunities throughout Nova Scotia.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians. That is why our government is dedicated to making sure that Canada has access to highly skilled workers who are able to fully contribute to the economy. We need to work together with businesses, like members of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, as well as provinces and territories, post-secondary educational institutions and stakeholders to maximize our economic growth potential as a country."
– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada