Executive Council
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

August 3, 2018

Federal and Provincial Governments Announce Agreement to Give
Workers the Tools They Need to Find and Keep Good Jobs

Today, the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, announced that the Governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $900 million over six years to invest in their workers. This includes the province’s nearly $80 million share of the additional investments announced in Budget 2017. This increase means an estimated 13,000 more workers in Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit over the six years.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years Newfoundland and Labrador will receive approximately $308 million—more than $26 million through the WDA and more than $281 million through the LMDA.

Speaking at Memorial University’s Genesis Centre, Minister O’Regan said that these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in Newfoundland and Labrador, including employment counselling, on-the-job training, innovative skills development supports, and more.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before—including people from groups typically under‑represented in our workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.

As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, people in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across Canada are met with new challenges and new opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure everybody has the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and so that they can be continually improved.

The WDA will help Newfoundland and Labrador deliver training and services, such as:

  • Training in basic skills such as literacy and numeracy;
  • On-the-job training and workplace-based skills upgrading;
  • Work placements for persons with intellectual disabilities;
  • Group interventions and job readiness assistance;
  • Employment counselling and services;
  • Employer-sponsored training.

Funding under the LMDA will allow Newfoundland and Labrador to help more people and more employers meet their needs, though measures that support:

  • Skills training, ranging from basic skills to more advanced skills training;
  • Work placements and self-employment assistance;
  • Organizations that provide employment assistance services;
  • Employers, employee or employer associations, community groups and communities in developing and implementing strategies for dealing with labour force adjustments and meeting human resource requirements;
  • Research and innovative projects to identify better ways of helping persons prepare for, return to or keep good jobs.

“These agreements will support our government’s efforts through The Way Forward to encourage private sector job creation and economic growth. Through unprecedented collaboration between the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and our industry partners, we will continue to invest in programs, services, and initiatives that help ensure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the support and skills they need to gain meaningful employment and build a brighter future right here."
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“It is essential that all Canadians get training and develop new job skills‎ throughout their work life in order to keep up with the changing workplace and as our economy grows. Through investments like today's agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador, we are ensuring Canada's most valuable asset, our people, are well prepared by being innovative, flexible and adaptive to enjoy economic success and build toward a future. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers create a better future for themselves and their families.”
Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“This investment in Newfoundland and Labrador is an investment in the future of our province. These new agreements mean more people will have the skills and training they need to not only meet the future head on but to thrive at home and take on the world. We are equipping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to help grow our business and our economy.”
Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense

“The new Workforce Development and Labour Market Development agreements provide increased funding and flexibility, preparing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for the jobs of the future, including women, people with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples. Negotiating and finalizing these agreements with our federal colleagues demonstrates our government’s continued commitment to encourage economic diversification and growth throughout the province."
Honourable Al Hawkins
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

Le gouvernement du Canada annonce une entente de financement visant à donner aux travailleurs de Terre‑Neuve‑et‑Labrador les outils dont ils ont besoin pour trouver et conserver de bons emplois external link

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Learn more
Workforce Development Agreements external link

Labour Market Development Agreement external link

Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre external link

Genesis Centre external link

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link and @AESL_GovNL external link

Media contacts
Jason Card
Office of the Premier

Veronique Simard
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P

Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

New Labour Market Transfer Agreements

Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the Government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017–18 to 2022–23:

  • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
  • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.

In total, from 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.

Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.

The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for underrepresented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC), established in 2017 by the Provincial Government, and administered by College of the North Atlantic, provides a coordinated, central point of access to engage government, career and employment services providers, skills development organizations and stakeholders in the business and community sectors throughout the province. NLWIC’s goal is to promote the research, testing and sharing of ideas and models of innovation in workforce development that will positively impact individual employability and attachment to the workforce. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour (AESL) under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement. Priorities for research funding are determined by AESL in consultation with NLWIC based on stakeholder feedback and other research.

2018 08 03                              10:15 a.m.