CENTRAL NOVA REPORT BY PETER MACKAY
Last month, I was joined by Nova Scotia’s labour minister at the NSCC Pictou Campus to sign three significant agreements between the federal and provincial governments to help better connect Nova Scotians with available jobs.
First, the Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions.
By requiring employers to put more skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will result in “on the job” training that leads to guaranteed employment. This fund will provide up to $10,000 for training costs for an individual worker, including tuition and training materials.
Second, the new Canada–Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPD) puts a strong focus on connecting disabled Canadians with available jobs. Under this agreement, the Government of Canada will provide over $8.2 million per year to Nova Scotia – a contribution that will be matched by the province. This agreement represents the single largest federal government investment in helping Canadians with disabilities get jobs.
With approximately 800,000 working-age Canadians with disabilities who are able to work and have a desire to contribute to the prosperity of their community, this agreement is an important step in encouraging people back into the workforce.
Finally, Canada and Nova Scotia signed the renewal of the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. This cost-shared initiative provides unemployed older workers with training to re-integrate into the workforce. This represents a three-year federal investment of over $2.3 million in Nova Scotia. Since its launch in 2007, this program has put more than 1,200 seniors back to work.
Nova Scotia has the potential for strong economic and employment growth over the coming years. To ensure the province’s prosperity, job openings have to be filled. These three agreements will not only help create jobs and opportunities for Nova Scotians, they will also help develop the skilled workforce Nova Scotia’s economy needs for a more dynamic and thriving future.
Peter MacKay is MP for Central Nova and federal Justice Minister.