Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 26, 2007
A Vision to Empower People� Actions to Support a Skilled Workforce
The Williams Government will invest $6.7 million in Budget 2007 to help people take advantage of new opportunities in the area of skilled trades and to ensure a highly-qualified workforce to meet industry demands.
"There are tremendous opportunities on the horizon for this province, from large-scale development projects to new construction to investments in infrastructure," said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. "We are making significant investments to make sure we have an educated, highly-qualified, skilled workforce to meet the labour market demands associated with this increased economic activity."
Premier Williams, along with the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, today announced a number of new measures to increase labour market participation, address the skills gap and increase prospects for people.
"I believe our government, in partnership with business, labour and community groups, has a critical role to play in helping people connect to today�s changing labour market," said Minister Skinner. "Budget 2007 contains a series of new measures to give more people access to relevant and current information on the labour market and help them chart their course for education, training and employment."
The issue of skill shortages in the province is evident given the increased number of available jobs going unfilled and increased competition for existing talent from other parts of Canada. The Provincial Government is investing $3.9 million in Budget 2007 to expand career and employment services. This includes:
Expanding Career and Employment Services
Improving the Skills Training and Apprenticeship System
The Provincial Government recognizes that people can make better informed decisions regarding their future when they understand the needs of today�s labour market. The Provincial Government is taking steps to ensure that education, training and work experience opportunities are increasingly accessible to enable people to complete their learning plan. This requires renewed investment in the province�s skills training and apprenticeship system.
There are currently 3,800 registered apprentices active in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, there is an increasing demand for skilled tradespersons due to developments in the province�s energy, mining and industrial sectors.
"We are working to make our post-secondary system more responsive to the needs of our students and to the emerging needs of industry," said Minister Burke. "The Skills Task Force, initiated by our government, brought together a partnership of business, labour, government, post-secondary institutions and other key stakeholder groups, to identify needs and ensure a responsive training system. While this work progresses, the measures outlined in Budget 2007 are geared to help provide skilled workers where and when needed."
In support of the Skills Task Force, the Provincial Government is investing $2.8 million in Budget 2007 to improve the responsiveness of the skills training and apprenticeship system in the province. This includes:
"The competition for skilled labour is being felt across the country," said Premier Williams. "Our government is making significant investments in our training system and in our students to fill the current gaps in the labour force and to make sure we have the skilled people to continue to grow the economy here in Newfoundland and Labrador."
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