Québec City (Québec), October 14, 2016 – Canada’s Labour Market Ministers met today to discuss strategic priorities and enable progress on shared interests such as: renewed collaboration on labour market transfer agreements, improving labour market information, strenghtening apprenticeship, labour mobility and foreign qualification recognition.
Acknowledging that skills requirements are changing rapidly with technology and innovation, Labour Market Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to foster inclusive workforce participation, better align skills with evolving labour market needs, and support efficient labour markets to better serve all Canadians.
The Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) meeting was co-chaired by François Blais, Québec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, and the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, also participated at the meeting.
To help all Canadians find and keep good quality jobs through better access to training and supports and to avoid duplication, Ministers agreed to common priorities for strenghtening the $3 billion Labour Market Transfer Agreements that support provincial and territorial employment and training programs. Provinces and territories acknowledged the additional $175 million funding provided for these agreements for 2016-2017. They also emphasized the importance that future work reflects direction provided by Canada’s Premiers.
Through consultations, Labour Market Ministers received valuable feedback from more than 700 stakeholders on the effectiveness of the current labour market transfer agreements. Ministers endorsed the public release of the consultation report which will inform the collaborative approach to ensure the next generation of agreements:
- are client-focused, flexible and responsive to the needs of individuals, workers, employers and under-represented groups, including Indigenous Peoples;
- build on strong evidence for relevant performance measurement to better inform and serve Canadians and help them achieve meaningful employment outcomes; and,
- foster innovative approaches and the sharing of best practices.
The importance of quality, timely and accurate labour market information (LMI) was reiterated to ensure all Canadians, including students, businesses, workers and educators have the necessary tools and knowledge to make informed decisions. To that end, the Ministers confirmed that the LMI Council is on track to hold its inaugural meeting and finalize the membership of the LMI Stakeholders Advisory Panel in the coming months.
Jurisdictions agreed to continue working with their regulators and assessment agencies to ensure that newcomers receive more timely information on whether they qualify to work in their profession or what additional training might be needed to meet Canadian standards. Ministers announced that the target to reach an initial qualifications recognition decision will be changed from one year to six months1.
Ministers launched a new labour mobility website to inform certified workers on how to have their qualifications recognized across provinces and territories. As an outcome of these initiatives, employers will have increased access to the qualified workforce they need.
Ministers also agreed to explore innovative approaches to increase employer engagement for improved job opportunities and outcomes for apprentices. Federal, provincial and territorial governments also reaffirmed their commitment to harmonizing apprenticeship training for 30 Red Seal trades by 2020 in most jurisdictions, with an effort to harmonize training for two-thirds of Red Seal apprentices by 2017.
Ministers stressed the importance of digital skills improvement for workers and reaffirmed their commitment to address the labour market needs of under-represented groups. Ministers also agreed to meet to pursue innovation and best practices. They acknowledged that the FLMM is a key multilateral platform to collaborate and achieve concrete results on shared issues such as the possible impacts of both Employment Insurance and Temporary Foreign Worker Program on certain aspects of labour markets.
The FLMM was established in 1983 as an intergovernmental forum aimed at strengthening cooperation on the labour market priorities of the provinces, the territories and Canada.
“Our government’s top priority is growing the economy by helping all Canadians in the middle class, and those working hard to join it, get the training and skills they need to get and keep good, well-paying jobs. Through renewed collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners we are taking action to deliver real results for Canadians. Our government’s goal is to improve job outcomes for those facing significant labour market challenges such as youth, persons with disabilities and Indigenous Peoples. We will continue to work to ensure our programs and services effectively respod to the challenges of global impacts on the economy and labour market.”
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and co-chair of the FLMM.
“The Government of Québec was pleased to host this meeting of federal, provincial and territorial labour market ministers that allowed discussion on a number of pan-Canadian issues related to labour and employment. Our government has committed to foster the economic development and strengthen the alignment between the needs of businesses and skills of current and future workers. To do so, it is essential that the labour market transfer agreements support our efforts and allow fo a flexible and timely response to the provinces’ and territories’ needs. I’m please to notice that this is a view shared by all of my FLMM colleagues.”
François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale, and co-chair of the FLMM.
1. The changed target is announced under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. While the Québec government has not endorsed the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, it supports its principles and contributes to its work, acting within its exclusive jurisdiction with regards to immigrant integration under the Canada-Québec Accord Relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens.