Training for the Jobs of Tomorrow
April 13, 2021

Ottawa Journal (April 13 – April 17, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.

    Our Government is taking decisive action during this difficult economic period to assist those most affected. We are doing this by enhanced investment in skills and training programs. Together with improvements to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, our Government will help this group by delivering the skills and training they need to have better access to the jobs of tomorrow.

    The four skills and training programs that our Government is enhancing include: Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs); the Strategic Training and Transition Fund; the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW); and support for Long-Tenured Workers.

    The Labour Market Development Agreements are federal/provincial/territorial agreements which help the provinces and territories deliver skills training support to workers who qualify for EI benefits. Canada’s Economic Action Plan includes an additional temporary investment of $1 billion over two years under existing LMDAs with provinces and territories that will help respond to the higher demand for labour market programs and training, due to increased unemployment. This additional investment would respond to the demand for skills training, as well as the adjustment needs coming from EI clients. This will allow an extra 100,000 EI eligible clients to be trained.

    The Strategic Training and Transition Fund is a $500 million, two-year investment that will support provincial and territorial initiatives that help meet the different needs of workers in affected communities and sectors in retaining employment or in transitioning to new jobs. The Fund will ensure that affected Canadians are eligible to actively participate in the training or other employment initiatives that they need during difficult times. Approximately 50,000 individuals are expected to benefit.

    The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is a federal-provincial-territorial employment program that provides a range of employment activities for unemployed older workers and helps them stay in the workforce. TIOW is designed to respond to the needs of unemployed older workers in vulnerable communities. The initiative results in income support for participating older workers, while maintaining their labour force participation as communities adjust to new labour market situations. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our Government is providing an additional investment of $60 million over three years in this program. Our Government is also expanding the scope of TIOW to include workers in all vulnerable communities with populations of less than 250,000 and make assistance available to more older workers in a larger number of cities, particularly those heavily dependent upon a single sector and a single employer facing adjustments.

    Finally, Long-Tenured Workers (i.e. an individual who has significant labour force attachment and who has not frequently claimed EI regular benefits in the past five years) will benefit from our Government’s targeted actions that will inject immediate stimulus, promote long-term growth, and help unemployed Canadians cope with the economic downturn. A new $500 million investment over two years is being introduced to extend income benefits for long-tenured workers participating in longer-term training, including workers from the automotive and manufacturing industries and to allow earlier access to EI regular income benefits for eligible individuals purchasing their own training using all or part of their earnings resulting from a lay-off, such as severance pay.

    These four initiatives are consistent with Canada’s Economic Action Plan and will help our workforce to emerge from the global economic downturn sooner and stronger than our international allies. Furthermore, our workforce will be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.