FREDERICTON, N.B. – The provincial government has signed an agreement in principle with the federal government to renew labour market agreements and create the Canada Job Grant totalling about $66 million.
"We are growing our province by focusing on people, skills and jobs," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. "This agreement will help us continue delivering successful and proven programs for vulnerable workers and the unemployed while providing employers a greater role in training."
The provincial government will now enter into bilateral negotiations to renew labour market agreements, now called the Canada Job Fund, and establish the Canada Job Grant.
In response to joint provincial and territorial efforts, the federal government has agreed to the following:
– removing the requirement for cost-matching by the provinces and territories;
– increasing flexibility for employer contributions to make the Canada Job Grant more accessible for small business;
– ensuring a greater proportion of the labour market agreements is targeted to providing employment and training support; and
– reviewing the Canada Job Grant program by December 2015 to ensure it is meeting the needs of Canadians and employers.
Under the agreement in principle, New Brunswick will receive about $11 million annually over six years for skills training, which is the province’s per-capita share of the $500 million allotted to the national program. Of this, about $4 million may be spent in the province on employer-driven training.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Jason Kenney, federal minister of employment and social development. “The Canada Job Grant will ensure employers put more skin in the game and that skills training leads to a guaranteed job. This is good news for New Brunswickers who will have better access to training that leads to real, guaranteed jobs and who will get better bang for their buck on funding for skills training. It is also good news for the New Brunswick economy because the Canada Job Grant will increase employer investment in skills training and help employers train Canadians for jobs that need to be filled so their businesses can grow and succeed.”
Carr and Shirley Bond, the labour minister from British Columbia, co-led the provincial and territorial multilateral discussions with the federal government. They also worked closely with Allen Roach, minister of innovation and advanced learning, Prince Edward Island, who is also co-chair of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers.
"I thank all of my colleagues from across the country, including Minister Kenney, for their ongoing engagement and collaboration to reach this deal," said Carr. "I also thank Premier David Alward for entrusting me with this important file. There is no question that his leadership has helped us reach this point."