HR News Update

Governments of Canada and Alberta sign a new agreement on training and skills development that will help prepare Albertans for jobs of the future

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism), on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Hector Goudreau, Minister of Employment and Immigration for Alberta, signed a new agreement to help Alberta workers improve their skills, and to prepare them for the jobs of the future.

The agreement represents a significant Government of Canada investment in the people of Alberta and addresses employers' needs for skilled workers. Under the new agreement, the Government of Canada will invest nearly $316 million in Alberta's labour market over the next six years.

Through this agreement, residents of Alberta who are not eligible for training under the Employment Insurance (EI) program will have more of a chance to improve their skills. The funding will help those often under-represented in the labour force, including Aboriginal people, immigrants and persons with disabilities, gain access to the training they need to find good quality jobs. It will also help people move from low-skilled work to better jobs in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and health care. Approximately 5,000 Albertans will benefit directly from the Labour Market Agreement each year.

"This announcement will help thousands enjoy the benefits of Alberta's prosperous economy and respond to Alberta's skills and labour shortage," said Secretary of State Ablonczy. "Our Government has made an important commitment in our long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada, to create the best-educated, most skilled, and most flexible workforce in the world. With this agreement, we are one step closer to getting this done in Alberta."

The agreement complements the work Alberta is undertaking to address its current and future labour market needs, including its 10-year labour force strategy, Building and Educating Tomorrow's Workforce.

"Helping Albertans develop their skills is critical for the prosperity of both individuals and the province as a whole," said Goudreau. "This investment will help ease the skills shortages that limit our growth and affect our ability to compete internationally."

"Bow Valley College plays a prominent role in educating the labour force for Calgary and Alberta," says Sharon Carry, Bow Valley College President and CEO. "Our governments' announcement will allow institutions such as Bow Valley College to expand its commitment to preparing Aboriginal people, immigrants, and persons with disabilities for the next steps in their career path. We congratulate the governments of Canada and Alberta for renewing this significant partnership which will provide many Albertans with access to the education they need to succeed."

The new Canada-Alberta Labour Market Agreement comes into effect this week. It helps fulfill the commitment made in the Government of Canada's long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada, and recent federal budgets to create the best-educated, most skilled, and most flexible work force in the world. Similar agreements have been signed with several provinces, and further agreements are being negotiated with other provinces and territories and will be signed in the coming months.

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