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Advanced Education and Skills
March 26, 2013

Backgrounder - Investments to Support a Skilled Workforce

Budget 2013 presents a sound plan to help people seize opportunities that are ahead and secure a prosperous future. An investment exceeding $42 million for the development of a skilled workforce will support training, advance apprentices, secure more skilled workers for employers, encourage immigration and help ensure under-represented groups such as women, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal persons have the skills and opportunity to obtain long-term employment.

Major Resource Development
Newfoundland and Labrador’s resource-based industries provide significant economic benefits and valuable employment for the people of the province. These industries will fuel new growth for the economy.

Major project developments, such as Hebron and Muskrat Falls, are driving opportunities and sustainable growth in this province like never before. These projects will generate new employment opportunities, support economic growth, and set the stage for a bright and prosperous future for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Hebron project is estimated to return approximately $23 billion to the Provincial Government and expected to provide 3,500 jobs at peak.

Employment generated from the building of Muskrat Falls and the transmission links will generate 3,100 direct jobs at peak employment and 1,500 direct jobs per year on average across more than 70 occupations.

The construction industry has recorded significant growth over the past five years. In 2012, due in part to the Provincial Government’s infrastructure investments, construction investment rose to $8.1 billion, a 42.4 per cent increase from 2011.

Supporting Skilled Trades
Budget 2013 will provide $5.2 million to support apprenticeship and trades, including:

  • $2 million to continue the Journeyperson Mentorship Program to help increase the number of certified journeypersons available to provide workplace training for apprentices;
  • $1.8 million for the Government Hiring Apprentice Program;
  • $800,000, supported with $7 million in federal funding, to continue the Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program which helps provide work experience to apprentices, with a focus on first and second-year apprentices including those from under-represented groups such as women and persons with disabilities; and,
  • $600,000 for grants for women and Aboriginals in apprenticeship.

A further $7 million in federal funding is administered by the Provincial Government through the Labour Market Development Agreement to support in-school training for apprentices as well as specialized training for journeypersons.

Upgrading and Supports
The Provincial Government is helping to ensure that residents of the province who are most vulnerable are best-positioned to improve their prospects at a time when economic conditions and employment opportunities have never been more promising. Developing new approaches for educational upgrading and employment supports will help people find employment and contribute to the pool of skilled labour needed to meet demand.

Changing the current delivery model for Adult Basic Education will provide a more flexible education model and will allow adult learners to better avail of employment opportunities to help them gain the work experience necessary to achieve long-term employment. This change will include the transition of the program out of College of the North Atlantic, and the engagement of new training providers through a Request for Proposals process. Service to clients will also be improved by achieving efficiencies within program delivery and making the Adult Basic Education program more responsive to labour market conditions. The Department of Advanced Education and Skills will work with College of the North Atlantic to make the transition as smooth as possible for adult learners. This includes the development of a transition plan to assist students to complete their education.

The Provincial Government will also be modifying the Income Support program to improve emphasis on providing recipients with enhanced employment services to better assist and inform their job search. With significant job opportunities in Labrador the Provincial Government will enhance employment service in areas such as Mary’s Harbour, Nain and Hopedale to help residents take advantage of economic prospects.

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Media contact:

John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Advanced Education and Skills
709-729-0753, 728-7762

2013 03 26                               3:00 p.m.

Last Updated:
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