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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
September 5, 2008

Canada’s Government and Newfoundland and Labrador Sign New Training and Skills Development Agreements to Prepare Residents for Jobs of the Future

Low-skilled and unemployed workers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be better prepared to be part of the province’s growing economy, thanks to two new federal-provincial agreements announced today by the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The first agreement, a new Labour Market Agreement (LMA), will inject more than $46 million over the next six years into the Newfoundland and Labrador labour market for provincial programs to help residents upgrade their skills in a variety of sectors, such as fishery, forestry, tourism, aquaculture, natural resources, and constructionThe funding will be used to help individuals often excluded from the labour force, including older workers, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and immigrants, to gain access to the training they need to find good quality jobs. 

Through the second agreement, a new Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), Newfoundland and Labrador will be responsible for the design and delivery of over $132 million annually in Employment Insurance-funded Employment Benefits and Support Measures.  This will provide the Province with the flexibility to focus job training programs and employment supports on the local and regional needs of both employers and clients.  The Province will assume this responsibility as of October 1, 2009.

“Through these new agreements Canada’s Government will be helping up to 20,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador get the training and skills development they need to find and keep good jobs,” said Minister Solberg.  “With today’s announcement, we are one step closer to making this happen for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“The LMA and LMDA are important components of an overall approach to respond to the new labour market challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Skinner.  “These agreements will strengthen the Province’s ability to tailor programs and services to meet current local labour market circumstances and client needs.”

As part of the agreement for the Province to assume responsibility for delivering services under the LMDA, federal employees currently doing this work in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive job offers from the Provincial Government.  Discussions are now underway to promote a smooth transition for these employees and to ensure continuity of service.

The signature of these two labour market agreements fulfills commitments made in the Government of Canada’s long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the recent federal budget to create the best-educated, most skilled, and most flexible work force in the world.  Similar agreements have been signed with several provinces, and further agreements are being negotiated with other jurisdictions. 

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 This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.  Visit the new Human Resources and Social Development Canada website at www.hrsdc.gc.ca. 

Media contacts:

Pema Lhalungpa
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Solberg
819-994-2482 

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 709-699-7903

 

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559

 

 Backgrounder 

The signature of these two labour market agreements fulfills commitments made in the Government of Canada’s economic plan, Advantage Canada, and the recent federal budgets to create the best-educated, most skilled, and most flexible work force in the world.   

Canada- Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Agreement

Under the new Labour Market Agreements, Canada’s Government will invest $500 million annually over the next six years to increase the quantity and enhance the quality of Canada’s labour force.  These resources will be allocated to the provinces and territories on an equal per capita basis.  

The new Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador LMA will inject more than $46 million over the next six years into the Newfoundland and Labrador labour market – based on current population estimates – beginning with an investment of $7.7 million in 2008-2009.  

The new investments will focus on supporting skills development for unemployed and low‑skilled employed individuals who are not eligible for training assistance under the Employment Insurance (EI) program, including groups who are under-represented in the labour market, such as

·         Aboriginal people, immigrants, persons with disabilities, youth, women, and older workers; and

·         individuals entering and re-entering the work force. 

The investments being announced today will:

·         provide a variety of supports to individuals and employers by assisting skills training tailored to specific occupations leading to higher skill levels;

·         increase industry investment relating to human resource planning to train employees, improve competitiveness, and support economic growth and job creation; and

·         improve access to literacy and essential skills training providing an essential linkage to the labour market and additional education. 

The Labour Market Agreements contain commitments to:

  • develop annual plans and engage stakeholders;
  • manage financial resources provided under the agreement;
  • measure the outcomes and benefits of investments in three areas participants, service delivery and results;
  • regular public reporting of results; and
  • review and evaluate activities regularly.

These new arrangements also contain a commitment to ensure that federal investments do not displace normal provincial expenditures within the labour market. 

In developing and delivering its eligible programs and services, the Province will take into account the needs of the official language minority communities within the province, and to deliver, where there is significant demand, services in either official language. 

Backgrounder
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador
Labour Market Development Agreement 

·        Under the new Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA)the Province assumes responsibility for the design and delivery of EI-funded Employment Benefits and Support Measures.  Over $132 million per year will be provided from the Government of Canada for this purpose. 

·        The new agreement replaces the existing co-managed agreement signed in 1997, under which the federal government retained responsibility for the design and delivery of EI‑funded Employment Benefits and Support Measures.  Labour Market Development Agreements have been successfully transferred in ten other provinces and territories. 

·        The agreement supports funding for labour market programs and services for Newfoundland and Labrador residents who are now collecting EI benefits or have received them in the last three years or for parents re-entering the labour force who have collected EI parental benefits in the last five years.  Last year, almost 7,000 unemployed Newfoundland and Labrador residents benefited from EI-funded programs and services. 

·        The programs and services delivered under this agreement will be similar to the benefits and measures offered by the federal government under the previous agreement, including Job Creation Partnerships, Skills Development, Wage Supplements, Self-Employment Assistance, Employment Assistance Services and Labour Market Partnerships.  

·        In developing and delivering their eligible programs, the Province will take into account the needs of the official language minority communities within the province and to deliver, where there is significant demand, services in either official language. 

·        The agreement contains a commitment for financial management, performance measurement, regular public reporting on results, and ongoing review and evaluation.  

·        The Government of Canada retains responsibility for income support under the Employment Insurance Act.  This agreement does not affect the delivery of benefits for eligible individuals.  

·        Under the agreement Newfoundland and Labrador will assume responsibility for delivering employment programs and services.  Federal employees currently delivering programs and services in Newfoundland and Labrador will be offered jobs with the provincial government. 

·        The new Labour Market Development Agreement will be fully implemented by October 1, 2009.  Until then, Canada’s Government will continue to deliver EI-funded employment programs in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The Province will also ensure continuity of service by continuing agreements with third party service providers for up to two years.

2008 09 05                                            5:40 p.m.


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