FREDERICTON, N.B. – The provincial government is welcoming a new proposal from the federal government to renew labour market agreements and create the Canada Job Grant, saying these changes will help employers as well as New Brunswickers who are either unemployed or need training to remain employed.
"All premiers have remained united in their objectives to improve labour market agreements and to ensure skills training is available to those looking for work," said Premier David Alward. "With premiers consolidating our gains, we have a much more balanced approach to meeting the needs of unemployed Canadians while exploring new ways to involve the private sector in employment training."
As a result of successful and collaborative negotiations with the federal government, there is now a common framework for bilateral negotiations to renew labour market agreements and establish the Canada Job Grant.
In response to provincial and territorial efforts, the federal government has agreed to the following:
– increase flexibility for employer contributions to make the Canada Job Grant more accessible for small business;
– ensure that a greater proportion of the labour market agreements is targeted to providing employment and training support; and
– review the Canada Job Grant program by December 2015 to ensure it is meeting the needs of Canadians and employers.
Alward said he was confident that the framework is a solid basis to continue positive bilateral discussions with the federal government.
"Although some concerns remain, we are confident we will begin to finalize details on renewed labour market agreements in the coming months," he said. "Our province is committed to creating good jobs and growing the economy by building a skilled and productive labour force. We are confident this framework will enable us to continue delivering successful and proven programs for vulnerable workers and the unemployed while giving employers an increased role in skills training to help respond to labour market needs."