BURNABY, BC, May 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development, along with Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan–Coquihalla, announced an investment to help evaluate and recognize the skills and expertise of former and current members of the Canadian military, so they can get the right training for a civilian job. This successful program from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will also be expanded to other locations across Canada, including the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Edmonton), Fanshawe College (London), triOS College (locations across Southern Ontario) and Memorial University (St. John's).
Former and current members of the Canadian military, such as Veterans and reservists, often face many barriers to finding a civilian job, including getting the required credential recognition of the skills and experience they achieved in the military. To recognize the education and work experience that they have acquired during their military career, BCIT has developed an education placement and prior-learning approach to help assess their skills and experience in order to establish credits for BCIT programs. As a result of this project, more former and current members of the Canadian military will get credential recognition for their valued military experience in the skilled trades, health sciences and engineering, so they can get a job in their field.
Minister Poilievre also took the opportunity to speak about Economic Action Plan 2015, which includes other measures to support credential recognition, students and apprentices, including federal support for apprenticeship harmonization, expansion of the Canada Student Grant for short duration programs like skilled trades, and promotion of Blue Seal certification across Canada to encourage more skilled tradespeople to start or expand their own businesses and thereby, increase apprenticeship opportunities.
Additionally, he highlighted how strong families and good jobs go hand in hand, sharing important information about the Harper Government's Family Tax Cuts and Benefits. To help hard-working families, the Government is enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and increasing the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- The British Columbia Institute of Technology will receive $830,000 to launch the National Advanced Placement and Prior Learning Program (N-APPL) for military Veterans project.
- Former and current members of the Canadian military will be able to receive advanced placement into programs across Canada, so that they can enter the labour market more quickly using the skills they have acquired in the military.
- BCIT proposes their project will help support all military members in Canada, including Veterans and non-commissioned members:
- There are approximately 70,500 regular and reserve members in the military in Canada, of which 59,000 are non-commissioned members.
- Canada has a large Veteran population, representing approximately 600,000 individuals, with an average of 9,000 additional Veterans released each year. Two-thirds of the population is of working age (average age 56), with a significant number having completed post-secondary education.
- According to research completed by BCIT, this population group is well adapted to the civilian labour market. Seventy-three percent are employed, with the majority satisfied or very satisfied with their civilian employment and their financial situation, while at least six percent are unemployed and looking for work.
- Since 2009, the BCIT Legion Military Skills Conversion Program has assisted 400 former and current members of the Canadian military. In the past three years, over 40 former Canadian military members have graduated from BCIT with a diploma or a degree. Currently, over 80 former and current members of the Canadian military are actively pursuing education or training at BCIT through the Legion Program.
- In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government committed to providing $35 million over five years to make permanent the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans pilot project.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit would increase from $100 to $160 per month (totaling up to $1,920 per year) for children under the age of 6, and parents would receive a new benefit of $60 per month (up to $720 per year) for each child aged 6 through 17.
"Creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity continues to be our Government's top priority. That is why our Government is taking action to help military Veterans get credential recognition for their valued military service, so they can more easily, and quickly, transition into civilian employment. By helping these men and women who have served our country, we are also helping address shortages in key occupations and regions across Canada."
"Our Government is also committed to putting more money back into the pockets of families because we know that strong families and good jobs go hand in hand."
– The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development
"The idea of this much-needed program originated from a dedicated constituent in Peachland, British Columbia. I am pleased that this initiative is going to expand across the country to better support the transition of our Veterans into the private sector."
– Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan–Coquihalla
"Today's announcement is a testament to the groundbreaking model Kevin Wainwright spearheaded six years ago, supported by the BC/Yukon Legion and a dedicated group of staff, faculty, and students. BCIT is proud to announce that this funding will allow us to construct a network of support in every region across Canada, expanding educational access for all those who have served."
– Kathy Kinloch, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology
Employment and Social Development Canada: Credential Recognition
A Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
Federal Skilled Trades Program
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada