As Canada’s workforce continues to strengthen and expand, it is important to ensure that Canadians have the right skill sets to find meaningful jobs and to progress in their careers. Labour markets are changing, and workers need to be ready. That is why the Government of Canada, along with its provincial and territorial partners, is helping Canadians access the skills training they need to take advantage of economic opportunities wherever they exist.
Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, together with Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Matt Jones, announced an additional $72.9 million to Alberta for a total of $322 million in 2023–24 under the labour market agreements. This additional funding builds on years of investments and will ensure Albertans can access the supports they need to fully participate in the labour market in different sectors such as in agriculture, tourism and technology.
Building on measures already in place, this investment will offer extensive new training and career development opportunities for Alberta residents, allowing them to improve their skills, find long-term jobs and advance their career opportunities. In 2021–22, more than 100,000 Albertans received training and employment supports through the labour market agreements.
Minister Boissonnault made this announcement during a visit to NorQuest College, a job skills training provider. Through their various programs and initiatives, which receive funding through labour market agreements, NorQuest College will connect Indigenous workers with training and career opportunities in the construction industry. The college will also provide participants who are looking to enhance their skills with access to computers and career coaching. Additionally, NorQuest College will offer upskilling through virtual reality technology, benefiting students, unemployed individuals and employers.
Labour market agreements fund both Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) through bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories.
LMDAs are an essential part of Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program. They support millions of workers every year by providing training, upskilling, employment supports, career counselling and job search assistance. WDAs assist individuals regardless of their EI history or employment status. Those who are unemployed, underemployed, employed or self-employed can receive supports to upskill and reorient their careers and, ultimately, to find and maintain good jobs.