Joint news release with the Government of Canada
As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, Canadian workers are met with new challenges and opportunities. That is why it is more important than ever before to ensure Canadians benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and it means ensuring both employed and unemployed individuals have a chance to learn the skills they will need for the jobs of today, as well as the jobs of tomorrow.
Today, Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with the Honourable Tracy-Anne McPhee, Yukon’s Minister of Education, announced the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Yukon with approximately $45 million over six years to invest in Yukon’s workers.
These agreements represent an increase in funding of nearly $6 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. These new investments will benefit an estimated 600 more workers over the six years with more jobs and training available to people living in Yukon including skills development, apprenticeship training, on-the-job experience, workplace accommodations, employment services for job seekers and more.
Through these agreements, the Government of Canada is helping more people benefit from skills training and employment supports—including Canadians from groups typically under‑represented in the workforce, such as persons with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.
The agreements announced today include the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the amended Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). Over six years (2017–18 to 2022–23), Yukon is receiving approximately $45 million: close to $18 million through the WDA and more than $27 million through the LMDA.
The Government of Yukon is currently working to grow and expand programming opportunities offered through the WDA and the LMDA that meet the diverse needs of Yukon First Nations, employers and service organizations. Training and services offered in Yukon through labour market agreements with the Government of Canada include:
- training for employment;
- financial support for apprenticeships;
- supports for workplace accommodations, such as specialized equipment or personal supports like tutors or job coaches;
- work experience opportunities;
- employment assistance services;
- labour market research; and
- programs that connect employers to job seekers.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon will report results to Canadians about the impacts of skills training programs. Performance reviews will focus on: how these programs increase people’s earnings; improvement opportunities; outcomes for Yukon workers joining or remaining within the labour market; and access to employment opportunities for under‑represented groups.
Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through investments like the labour market agreements announced today, we strengthen our middle class and help more people working hard to join it.
The economy is moving in the right direction, and we need a labour market that is inclusive and equipped with flexible skills training supports that meet the needs of the provinces and territories. Through investments like today's agreements with Yukon, our Government is ensuring Canadians continue to be competitive, resilient and responsive as the jobs of today evolve and our economy continues to grow.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
These new agreements are timely given Yukon’s very low unemployment rate. They will provide more funding and flexibility to work together with Yukon job seekers, employers, service organizations and Yukon First Nations to meet their diverse local needs and strengthen Yukon’s labour market. Our government is proud to support programs and initiatives that increase the knowledge and skills of workers and provide a greater pool of qualified workers in the territory.
The Honourable Tracy-Anne McPhee, Minister of Education, Government of Yukon
The Government of Canada understands how important training and retraining are in today’s competitive job market. That is why I am proud to take part in today’s signing of the Labour Market Development Agreement between the governments of Canada and Yukon. Over six years, Yukoners will benefit from $45 million in employment supports.
Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon
The Government of Canada transfers 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 consolidating funding from the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2017) and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired March 2017); and
- $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories in addition to the $2.14 billion provided annually.
From 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government of Canada will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
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 Government of Yukon currently uses labour market funding from the Government of Canada to support organizations and initiatives, such as:
- Employment Central;
- Skookum Jim Friendship Centre’s Youth Employment Centre;
- Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s House of Learning, Traditional Knowledge, Education and Employment Training Program;
- Yukon College’s Older Workers Program; and
- direct help to individuals for skills training including workplace supports.
Changing demands of the workplace
Canada is home to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, but rapid technological change and globalization are accelerating the need to learn and develop new skills. As the demands of the workplace change, so too must the skills that workers bring to their jobs. The Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that both employers and governments are more responsive to workers’ needs.
The new and amended agreements were developed from broad-based consultations with more than 700 stakeholders on how to expand and improve skills training and employment supports for Canadians.
Workforce Development Agreements
The new Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2018) and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired March 2017). In addition to the $722 million provided annually to provinces and territories under the WDAs, Budget 2017 added $900 million over a period of six years from 2017–18 to 2022–23. The new funding will also support provincial and territorial employment programming for older workers, previously supported by the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers.
These agreements provide provinces and territories with the flexibility to respond to the diverse needs of their respective clients, both employers and individuals, which include members of under-represented groups.
Labour Market Development Agreements
Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) are bilateral agreements with each province and territory to design and deliver employment programming similar to employment benefits and support measures outlined in Part II of the Employment Insurance Act. LMDAs help Canadians quickly find and return to work. They also ensure a skilled labour force that meets current and emerging needs of employers.
Budget 2017 measures to expand eligibility to help more Canadians access skills training and employment assistance under the amended LMDAs include:
- investing an additional $1.8 billion in LMDAs over six years;
- broadening eligibility for Employment Benefits (e.g. skills training, wage subsidies) to include unemployed individuals who have made minimum Employment Insurance premium contributions in at least 5 of the last 10 years;
- expanding eligibility for Employment Assistance Services (e.g. employment counselling, job search assistance), previously only available to unemployed Canadians, to also include employed Canadians; and
- increasing flexibility for provinces and territories to support employer-sponsored training under Labour Market Partnerships (e.g. to help employers who need to upskill or retrain their workers in order to adjust to technological or structural changes in the economy).
The Government of Canada as part of Budget 2018 commitments provided $230 million to better assist workers in seasonal industries, including:
- $189 million to implement a pilot project to provide up to five additional weeks of EI regular benefits to eligible seasonal claimants in 13-targeted EI regions. The additional five weeks of benefits will be available to those who start a benefit period between August 5, 2018, and May 30, 2020.
- An additional $41 million over two years, which began in 2018–19, to all provinces and territories through their LMDAs to provide skills training, wage subsidies and employment supports for workers in seasonal industries.
Canada Training Benefit
The Canada Training Benefit could give workers a refundable tax credit on their income tax and benefit return to help offset tuition costs for training, provide income support during training and offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in demand. The benefit would include:
- a Canada Training Credit, which is a new refundable tax credit that allows eligible workers to receive $250 per year towards their training amount limit, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000, to help fund future eligible tuition and fees;
- the Employment Insurance (EI) Training Support Benefit that would provide eligible workers with up to four weeks of income support, paid at 55 percent of average weekly insurable earnings, to be taken within a four-year period when they require time off work to train;
- an EI Premium Rebate for Small Businesses that would offset the upward pressure on EI premiums resulting from the new EI Training Support Benefit; and
- new leave provisions under the Canada Labour Code that would allow federally regulated workers to take time away from work to pursue training and receive the EI Training Support Benefit without risk to their job security.
The Canada Training Benefit will be available to millions of Canadian workers who have joined the workforce. It is estimated that approximately 600,000 Canadians will claim the Canada Training Credit each year. The uptake of the EI Training Support Benefit will depend on its final design.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Susan Moorhead Mooney
Office of the Honourable Larry Bagnell P.C., M.P.
Cabinet Communications, Government of Yukon