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

Just Posted

Sugar Shack sweetens Entre-Lacs’ initiative for new playground

The Craft Corner Kitchen event raised $2,500 with help of Smugglers Smokehouse and Maple Roch

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

Penticton musician returns from Myanmar to play Dream Café

Mason Burns takes the stage Feb. 22 before heading out on tour again

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Letter: United We Roll a working-class protest

The United We Roll movement makes me proud to be a Canadian.… Continue reading

Fundraiser started for Kelowna foreign aid worker trapped in Haiti

Laura Allan can’t return home due to civil unrest in the Caribbean country

Former Shuswap teacher remembered for staying true to beliefs

Celebration of life for Dr. Richard Zigler taking place Saturday, Feb. 23

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

Most Read