When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.” The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment. (Black Press files)

Government of Canada announces new funding agreement with B.C.

Funding goes to finding and keeping good jobs for B.C. residents

The Government of Canada is investing directly into the resilient and hardworking people of British Columbia, ensuring that the economic growth seen across the province is the kind of movement that benefits everyone.

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, recently announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers.

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people,” said Hajdu. “Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger, and our workers and their families thrive.”

Per a news release issued by the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, these new agreements represent an increase of funding over $250 million over the period when compared to previous funding levels.

Ultimately, this increase means approximately 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over this six year period.

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed – someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills,” said Shane Simpson, the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

According to information found in the news release, these agreements will supposedly increase the jobs and skills training available to the people of British Columbia by a significant margin. Some of these new opportunities include assessments, skill training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups,” said Melanie Mark, the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosper from B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

Through these new agreements, the news release states that the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before. This will reportedly include people from groups typically under-represented in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous peoples.

Ultimately, the news release reiterates the point that as innovation and technology continue to change how people live and work, the residents of B.C. are met with new challenges and new opportunities.

The purpose of these agreements is ensuring that everybody has the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy, which means that both employed and unemployed individuals have the opportunities to acquire the skills they desire for the jobs of today, while also preparing them for the jobs of the future.

“To drive the kind of economic growth that is inclusive, we need to invest in people,” said the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of National Defence. “Our government committed to do just that, and we are delivering with $250 million more in funding to help 84,000 more people get the skills they need to succeed in today’s changing economy.”

Canada wide, until 2023, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in Workforce Development Agreements and Labour Market Development Agreements with provinces and territories across the nation.

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