Provinces press for training changes

Ottawa's new Canada Job Grant would leave lower-skilled workers and many small businesses behind, provincial employment ministers agree

Jobs

The federal government’s new Canada Job Grant would leave lower-skilled workers and many small businesses behind, provincial employment ministers agree.

B.C. Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond joined her provincial counterparts in Toronto Tuesday to emphasize their worries that Ottawa’s new plan will take money from an effective network of retraining programs designed to fit local needs.

The Canada Job Grant is due to take effect in April, diverting millions in federal skills training funding to a three-way program that requires employers and provinces to match a $5,000 investment from an employer to upgrade a worker’s skills.

The provinces issued a joint report pointing out that “vulnerable clients” of provincial training programs don’t have jobs. With no employer to put up a share, they won’t qualify for the new program.

“The federal government has provided no evidence that the proposal would help workers or employers,” the report states. “However, it would divert funding from existing provincial and territorial programs that are delivering good results.”

Bond said federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney has agreed to meet with provincial ministers to hear their concerns. She said small businesses have also raised the alarm that Ottawa’s plan doesn’t work for them.

Provinces say full implementation of the Canada Job Grant would take $600 million a year out of current programs, particularly those for young people, disabled people, aboriginal people, recent immigrants, social assistance recipients, long-term unemployed and older workers.

Bond said one such B.C. program at risk is BladeRunners, which targets young aboriginal people.

Service providers funded by BladeRunners include:

• Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre Society in Williams Lake and Quesnel

• Ktunaxa Nation Council in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Creston

• Metis Nation B.C. in Abbotsford, Mission and Aldergrove

• Sto:Lo Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training in Surrey, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission

• Nanaimo Youth Services Association in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Courtenay and Comox

• Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in Port Alberni and Ucluelet

• Coast Salish Employment and Training Society in Duncan, Nanaimo and Victoria

• Laichwiltach Family Life Society in Campbell River and Port Hardy

• Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association

• John Howard Societies in Kelowna and Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Power outage leaves more than 1,500 Sidney residents in the dark Sunday

BC Hydro customers without power since 7:57 a.m. on Feb. 16

Habitat for Humanity seeks applicants for 11 new homes on the Saanich Peninsula

Successful applicants will help build their new homes and receive an affordable mortgage

Next Pacific Opera production tells a refugee’s airport tale

Flight is spicy and complex, with a scintillating score by Jonathan Dove

Registration opens March 1 for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Dunsmuir Middle School works with students following in-school protest over cell phone policy

Pupil said he wants students to be included in decisions that impact them

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Most Read