Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island announce agreements to help Canadians improve

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

June 20, 2019 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development 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, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and the Honourable Brad Trivers, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, announced that the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the Prince Edward Island government with approximately $200 million over six years to invest in Prince Edward Island’s workers.

These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $11 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 5,000 more workers will benefit over the six years with more jobs and skills training available to people living in Prince Edward Island.

Through these agreements, the Government of Canada is helping more people benefit from skills training programs-including Canadians from groups typically under‑represented in the workforce, such as youth, persons with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the amended Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). Over six years (2017-18 to 2022-23), Prince Edward Island will receive approximately $200 million-more than $23 million through the WDA and more than $176 million through the LMDA.

The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island 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; the outcomes for Prince Edward Island workers joining or remaining within the labour market; and breaking down barriers for under‑represented groups.

The WDA will help Prince Edward Island deliver training and services that meet the needs of their workforce with supports such as:

  • The Workplace Skills Training program so that employers can train new or existing employees to keep their skills aligned with the changing needs of the business.
  • Incremental supports for persons with disabilities, including continued skills development support so individuals can find and maintain meaningful employment.
  • Supports to help under-represented groups, including youth, social assistance recipients, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and newcomers, gain the necessary skills to enter the workforce.

Funding under the LMDA will allow Prince Edward Island to help more people and employers meet their unique needs, through measures such as:

  • Support for the Training PEI program to allow unemployed Islanders to gain the skills and education necessary to find and maintain long-term sustainable employment. This includes group-based initiatives and training for apprentices to meet the growing demand for skilled workers.
  • The Employment Assistance Services program to provide employment counselling, career planning and job search for mainstream and specialized clients at numerous locations across the province.
  • Expansion of the Graduate Mentorship Program designed to support Prince Edward Islanders graduating from post-secondary institutions to gain full-time employment and allow for on-the-job training and mentorship in their field of study.
  • Support for non-profit community organizations to deliver short-term projects that provide unemployed individuals with a valuable work experience to enhance skills and increase potential for long-term labour market attachment.
  • Continued support for the Self Employ PEI program to support an environment to facilitate growth through small business start-up. Ensuring Island entrepreneurs have the opportunity to create their own employment will help grow the Island’s economy.

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.

“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with Prince Edward Island, 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.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Meaningful jobs are the backbone of our economy, and this investment will help over 5,000 workers in our province. We are pleased to work in collaboration with the federal government to ensure Islanders have the education and skills necessary to build a strong workforce and support economic growth for Prince Edward Island.”

– The Honourable Brad Trivers, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Government of Prince Edward Island

Quick facts

  • 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 consolidating funding from the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (expired March 2018), 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.

/Public Release. View in full here.