Minister Boissonnault engages in strategic discussions with provincial and territorial ministers to strengthen Canada's workforce

18.06.24 02:58 Uhr

GATINEAU, QC, June 17, 2024 /CNW/ - Canada's economy is showing strength and resilience, with more women in the workforce than ever before, and a higher number of Canadians working today than before the pandemic. At the same time, our labour market is undergoing significant changes with the impacts of climate change, an aging population, shifting demographics and rapid technological advancements. These changes present opportunities for Canada to adapt and seize new opportunities, but workers need to be ready.

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, met with his counterparts for the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) for the second time this year. Minister Boissonnault and the Honourable Jamie Moses, Manitoba's Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources, co-chaired the meeting and discussed how ministers can work together to strengthen Canada's workforce.

During the meeting, ministers discussed the important role of labour market agreements with provinces and territories in helping to address labour market challenges, particularly in key sectors such as health care, housing construction, green industries and the future economy.

Minister Boissonnault affirmed the continuity of federal funding to provinces and territories, underscoring that these labour market agreements benefit millions of Canadians each year through training and job assistance and remain Canada's most substantial and impactful investment with $25 billion in transfers since 2017. Conversations with provinces and territories on labour market agreements are ongoing and are focused on ensuring that regional projects strategically align with other investments made by provinces and territories to better meet the needs of Canadians.

Additionally, he pointed to specific actions the Government of Canada is taking through Budget 2024 to create more jobs for Canadians and keep Canada at the economic forefront. This includes ground-breaking investments to strengthen the health care and housing workforce, including a commitment to provide an additional $50 million over two years in the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to support and streamline foreign credential recognition in the health care and construction sectors. This complements a $90 million investment over two years to help create apprenticeship placements with small and medium-sized enterprises, and $10 million for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program to encourage Canadians to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades. Together, these programs will provide direct support to grow and develop a larger, highly certified, diverse and inclusive trades workforce that will help to address the housing shortage across Canada.

Minister Boissonnault emphasized the need to continue building a 21st century workforce, with workers who can adapt to new challenges, including those brought on by artificial intelligence and automation, so that they can be ready for emerging in-demand jobs. The recently announced Budget 2024 investment in the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program will help support workers in industries that may be affected by artificial intelligence. With an investment of $50 million over four years, this program will provide new skills training to workers across Canada who are potentially impacted by artificial intelligence.

Additionally, Canada's interim Sustainable Jobs Plan is about supporting workers as they seize opportunities on the path to a prosperous and sustainable net-zero emissions economy. This includes ESDC's suite of worker-centered programming—such as the Sustainable Jobs Training Fund and the Green Skills stream of the Union Training and Innovation Program—which is ensuring that workers have access to good paying, high-quality jobs and targeted training in every region of Canada.  

Finally, Minister Boissonnault also highlighted the upcoming Workforce Summit in October 2024, which will influence the current skills development landscape and promote a productive and inclusive labour market. The Government of Canada aims to bring together key stakeholders for this summit to discuss modern workforce trends, challenges and opportunities, with the goal of shaping a shared vision for Canada's future workforce.

Minister Boissonnault looks forward to continuing constructive and open dialogue through the FLMM to remove barriers to labour market success in service of Canadian workers.

Quotes

"In the face of challenging headwinds and a massive retirement wave, all orders of government need to come together and chart a new, more worker-focused path forward. Forums like the FLMM do just that and ensure that our governments are aligned on the key challenges facing workers, employers, unions and trades, while crafting a shared roadmap to building a robust and resilient workforce for today and tomorrow."
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault

Quick facts
  • The Forum of Labour Market Ministers was established in 1983 as an intergovernmental forum aimed at strengthening cooperation on the labour market priorities of the federal government, provinces and the territories.
  • The responsibility of labour market training was devolved to the provinces and territories in 1996, at their request.
  • According to the latest data from the Labour Force Survey, Canada's unemployment rate stood at 6.2% in May 2024, above the record low rate of 5.0% experienced between December 2022 and April 2023.
    • Although labour market conditions varied in different parts of the country, by May 2024, the national employment rate (15 years and over) was 61.3%, slightly lower than in the previous year.
  • The International Monetary Fund projects that Canada will see the strongest economic growth in the G7 next year.
  • According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in the first half of this year, Canada received the third-highest foreign direct investment of any country in the world—and the highest per capita in the G7.
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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada