Archive for skills upgrading

training a large portion of federal budget

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by ruyoung

the canadian federal budget was tabled by jim flaherty today. between training and employment insurance there is about $1.8billion earmarked, laid out as:

Enhancing the Availability of Training

Budget 2009 will create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development by:

  • Increasing funding for training delivered through the Employment Insurance program by $1 billion over two years.
  • Investing $500 million over two years in a Strategic Training and Transition Fund to support the particular needs of individuals who do not qualify for EI training, such as the self-employed or those who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time.
  • Providing $55 million over two years to help young Canadians find summer jobs.
  • Supporting older workers and their families with an additional $60 million over three years for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and expanding it to include workers in small cities.
  • Responding to skilled labour shortages with $40 million a year to launch the $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant.
  • Providing $50 million over two years for a national foreign credential recognition framework in partnership with provinces and territories.
  • Investing an additional $100 million over three years in the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) initiative, expected to support the creation of 6,000 jobs for Aboriginal Canadians.
  • Investing $75 million in a two-year Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund.

now, the majority of that is for EI, which i won’t deny is necessary, however, they only program in this list that isn’t exactly new is the strategic training and transition fund. this is key so that self employed individuals and others who do not qualify for EI can get some support, and $500million is a fair chunk of change.

the entirety of budget has come under scrutiny by the members of the pending coalition government. the next few weeks will be key to whether this funding for training and small businesses will surface in time to make a difference in our economic slump – or at least a difference that doesn’t leave very deep scars.

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comparing adult learners in knowledge-based economies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by ruyoung

a report from statistics canda contemplates the findings of a study of adult learners between canada, united states, norway, and switzerland.

each country reported nearly or more than 50% of the adult population enrolment in organised forms of adult learning during the year preceding the interview. most said it was for job-related reasons and a very small percentage had been engaged in adult learning for personal reasons.

“The dominance of work-related reasons for participating remains unchanged over a person’s entire working life. It is notable, for example, that close to 90% of Canadians with job tenure of more than 21 years who reported participating in an organized form of adult learning in 2002 did so for job-related reasons, a percentage that is similar to employees who had been in the job for between one and five years.

These results suggest that a large proportion of Canadians are active participants in what is now commonly referred to as the ‘knowledge-based economy’ and are ready to upgrade their skills in order to improve and/or maintain their prospects in the labour market. At the same time, it is becoming rare for Canadian adults to engage in organized learning activities primarily for personal reasons or study for the sake of study.”

it is also worth noting that more than 50% of interviewed learners from all four countries reported that they received financial support from their employer, however learners from the european countries were more still likely to engage in education and training even when unemployed compared to the north american learners interviewed.
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the report also contemplates the impact of job and workplace characteristics on adult learning as well as skills match-mismatch and participation in adult learning, but concludes that “it is worth noting that employer support for training favours high-skill workers in jobs with high skill requirements. That raises the question, then, of how best to create education and training opportunities for those in need of skills upgrading.”

a $1.5billion investment for skilled trades in ontario

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 26, 2008 by ruyoung

skilled trades and education were clearly the two winners in the ontario provincial budget announcement this week.

the skilled trades shortage is growing every day, and by 2030 ontario alone will be short nearly 360,000 skilled trades workers – these are the folks that help to build our libraries, maintain our schools, install plumbing in our condos, and lay down the cable for our internet everywhere.

the ontario government announced an investment of $1.5billion for a skills to jobs action plan, which includes $75million to increase apprenticeship programs, $355million over 3yrs for a second career strategy that will help 20,000 unemployed workers transition into new careers and well-paying jobs in growing areas of the economy, and $200million for colleges to purchase modern equipment for apprenticeship training and for maintenance and renewal of university facilities.

“we made a choice, we’ve chosen to invest in skills and training. we have chosen to invest in education.” said provincial finance minister dwight duncan.

with this announcement, the provincial government has also asked that richard florida study the changing composition of ontario’s workforce and economy.

this is all very good news for the state of education and skilled trades in ontario.