Let’s Put the Job-Grants Idea to Work

While provinces debate the latest federal offer in the Canada Job Grant saga, employers and thousands of Canadians hoping for skills training sit on the sidelines wondering why “process” has become more important than results.

In its 2013 Economic Action Plan, the federal government created the Canada Job Grant. This initiative would support employers in their efforts to train future employees or existing ones needing new skills for new positions.

This is an innovative program designed to finally provide employers the levers they need to hire the employees they require to expand, create even more employment and grow our economy. It is a novel approach that recognizes governments do not have the monopoly on what would work in terms of job creation but rather helps those who actually create jobs increase their ability to grow.

The initial plan would have had the federal government use $300 million to pay a maximum of $5,000 per person for training, with the provinces putting in a maximum of $5,000 and employers the other third. The federal portion is coming from federal funds previously given to the provinces to operate programs the federal government no longer considers critical for various reasons. The new federal offer would have the provinces no longer required to put in their share of up to $5,000 per trainee, but as no new money would be in that program, the number of trainees would possibly be cut in half.

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