Economic Action Plan 2013 announces that the Government will transform skills training in Canada through the introduction of the Canada Job Grant, as part of the renewal of the Labour Market Agreements in 2014-15. Upon full implementation of the Canada Job Grant, nearly 130,000 Canadians each year are expected to have access to the training they need to fill available jobs. The Government will also renegotiate the Labour Market Development Agreements to reorient training toward labour market demand.
In Budget 2007, the Government introduced the Labour Market Agreements with an investment of $3 billion over six years to assist Canadians who are low-skilled or not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The Agreements are set to expire in March 2014. An additional $1.95 billion is transferred from the EI Operating Account each year to provinces and territories under the Labour Market Development Agreements to provide training to EI-eligible individuals.
The Government will negotiate a transformation of the Labour Market Agreements with provinces and territories, to ensure that skills training funds are being used to help Canadians obtain the qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. Employers and employer groups will be consulted during these negotiations. The Government will also renegotiate Labour Market Development Agreements with provinces and territories, along similar lines.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announces the Government’s intention to renew the Labour Market Agreements with provinces and territories in 2014 with investments of $500 million per year. The Agreements will be reformed to directly connect skills training with employers and jobs for Canadians with the Canada Job Grant - the centrepiece of the new Agreements. The Grant will account for $300 million of total annual Labour Market Agreement funding from the federal government on full implementation in 2017-18.
The Grant, as delivered through Labour Market Agreements, will require matching from employers as well as provinces and territories. Businesses with a plan to train Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for a Canada Job Grant. The Grant will provide access to a maximum $5,000 federal contribution per person towards training at eligible training institutions. This means the Grant could provide $15,000 or more per person, including provincial/territorial and employer contributions.
Upon full implementation of the Grant under the Labour Market Agreements, nearly 130,000 Canadians each year are expected to be able to access the training they need to take gainful employment or improve their skills for in-demand jobs.
The remaining funding of $200 million per year will continue to be transferred to provinces and territories to support delivery of critical employment services, such as counselling and job search assistance, and administration.
The Government will work in cooperation with its provincial and territorial partners to transform the way Canadians get training to help achieve our shared objectives of creating jobs and economic growth.