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ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR–(April 13, 2007) – The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and Rhonda Neary, CEO of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association of Eastern Newfoundland, announced a joint investment of over $7.5 million to give youth the training and education they need to pursue careers in home-building trades in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The goal of this pilot project is to increase youth participation in the labour market and to renew the pool of skilled trades people. The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador is also a partner in this project.
“Canada’s new government is supporting youth in Newfoundland and Labrador to become engaged and participate in the local work force” said Minister Hearn. “I am pleased to announce the launch of this exciting project that introduces young workers to the skilled trades. We have to ensure that Canada has a skilled labour force in all areas of the country, for today and for the future.”The residential construction industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is faced with significant labour shortages, in large part due to an aging work force and a lack of new entrants. Yet, new housing starts are increasing. Despite the increasing pressure for skilled workers, Newfoundland and Labrador continues to demonstrate the highest unemployment rates in the country, particularly among youth aged 18 to 29 years old. Considering the rapidly increasing pull for skilled trades workers from other jurisdictions in Canada, these trends pose a significant threat to the continued competitiveness of the industry.
“The Canadian Home Builder’s Association of Eastern Newfoundland and our members are excited to be leading this proactive, innovative pilot in partnership with the federal government and others to begin addressing the lack of trades workers,” said Ms. Neary, CEO of the Association. “Industry-led initiatives such as this one will help ensure that employers have access to the skilled work force they need, and that youth and other workers gain employment experience and skills that can help them take advantage of emerging opportunities.”
Through career orientation in the workplace and mentoring by trades professionals, 330 unemployed or underemployed youth will be exposed to the educational and skills requirements necessary for a career in the construction sector. The two-and-a-half-year project will test whether this approach will increase the labour market participation of youth in 12 key residential construction trades. If successful, this model of career orientation and mentoring could help increase the quantity and quality of workers entering the trades by ensuring that new workers have the practical skills and experience required by industry professionals.
For more information, visit http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada.
Workplace-Based Career Orientation and Mentoring pilot project
The Workplace-Based Career Orientation and Mentoring pilot project is delivered through the Pan-Canadian Innovations Initiative-an initiative that allows the federal government, provinces and territories, and the private sector to partner together in testing new solutions to labour market challenges.
The two-and-a-half-year pilot project will provide participants with one-on-one mentoring, job exposure and trades awareness courses, in addition to tailored supports, in one of 12 residential construction trades. Participants will take part in four weeks of on-the-job training internships and access to the latest equipment and technologies. They will also have the opportunity to draw upon the experience of a variety of practicing professionals in the field. Participants will be introduced to post-secondary education and training requirements, and support in gaining access to training in the residential construction sector and other trades.
The project will explore whether the proposed approach of career orientation and mentoring will have a positive impact on labour market outcomes for underemployed and unemployed youth and influence the participants’ decisions to enter the skilled trades.
Pan-Canadian Innovations Initiative
To ensure that Canadians enjoy sustained economic growth and prosperity, governments and their partners must continuously improve upon the range of programs and services they deliver. The labour market has changed considerably since the 1990′s, and existing programs and services may need to be updated to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of Canadians.
Through the Pan-Canadian Innovations Initiative (PCII), Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) partners with provinces and territories to test new solutions to labour market issues and challenges. Our shared priority is removing the barriers to full participation in the labour market faced by immigrants, Aboriginal peoples and under-represented groups.
Through the PCII, HRSDC is committed to undertake pilot projects that advance knowledge and contribute to the solution of real-world labour market challenges.
The results of these labour market tests will be shared broadly with other governments, business, industry, employers, educators and the Canadian public to inform future programs, policies and services.
Office of Minister Solberg
Office of Minister Hearn
Director of Communications
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Media Relations Office
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