SDSG MP Guy Lauzon writes: Since the depth of the recession in July 2009, we have created over 950,000 jobs thanks to our Economic Action Plan. Despite this, the global economy remains fragile, and there is a shortage of skilled tradespeople to fill jobs in this key sector. Economic Action Plan 2013 addresses this issue head on with the Canada Job Grant. The Canada Job Grant takes skill training choices out of the hands of government, and puts them where they belong; in the hands of employers with unfilled jobs and Canadians who want to work.
The Canada Job Grant will ensure that Canadian workers are able to obtain the qualifications they need to get jobs in high-demand fields. The Grant could provide $15,000 or more per person, including a $5,000 federal contribution along with matching contributions from provinces and employers. Businesses with a plan to train a Canadian for an existing job or better job will be eligible to apply for the Canada Job Grant. When fully implemented, 130,000 Canadians are expected to be able to access the training they need to obtain full time employment or improve their skills. The Canada Job Grant will be introduced in 2014-15 as part of the renewal of the Federal-Provincial Labour Market Agreements.
Workers seeking an apprenticeship will also be pleased with Economic Action Plan 2013. To further reduce barriers to accreditation in the trades, the Government will work with the provinces to harmonize requirements for apprentices. We will examine the use of practical hands-on testing in certain trades. This will support more apprentices obtaining their licences and will encourage mobility across the country.
Other positive features of Economic Action Plan 2013 is the introduction of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities by investing $222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for people with disabilities. There will also be a reallocation of $19 million over 2 years to promote education in high-demand fields, including skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Economic Action Plan also dedicates $70 million to support 5,000 paid internships for recent post- secondary graduates. Further, this budget commits $241 million over 5 years to improve the on-reserve Income Assistance Program to help aboriginal youth access skills and training to secure employment.
As you can see Economic Action Plan 2013 is about creating jobs, economic growth and long term prosperity for Canadian families and communities.