Canada Jobs Grant: Greeted With Support and Opposition Alike

The Canada Jobs Grant program has received a polarizing response from the public. While some are in full support of the job creation initiative, others are highly skeptical of its value.

So, what is the Canada Jobs Grant?

As part of the 2013 Economic Action Plan, the Canada Jobs Grant is a program to give over 100,000 Canadians the training they need to fill jobs. Employers who have existing plans to train Canadians for an existing job or a better job will be eligible to apply for the grants.

Support from Canadian Organizations

The Canadian Electricity Association praised the program for its ability to address the skilled labour shortage in Canada’s workforce. Jim Burpee, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association voiced his support for the program, claiming that the “training and development of Canada’s workforce is critical to the country’s competitiveness and economic growth potential.”

“We applaud the government for developing the Canada Job Grant,” Burpee continued. “It’s creating opportunities for apprentices, providing support to under-represented groups and promoting education and careers in high-demand fields to take action on this important challenge.”

The Canadian Welding Bureau also welcomed the news of the Canada Jobs Grant program and funding for equipment upgrades and continued infrastructure investment. Dan Tadic, executive director of the Canadian Welding Association, explained that it’s “no secret that there is and will continue to be shortage of qualified welders in Canada.” According to Tadic, the move to create new opportunities for apprenticeships will help the industry meet its growing needs.

TD Bank’s Chief Economist Craig Alexander also said that he believes the skills training initiative is a “step in the right direction” for Canada’s workforce.

Opposition from The Media

However, a recent article published in The Guardian had quite a different take on the Jobs Grant program. Claiming that the federal program has almost a billion dollars in funding and “no one using it,” the article goes on to argue that most Canadians are either unaware or confused by the program and who it is designed to benefit.

They draw attention to the fact that Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter called it “a mystery program” and question why a federal program is getting involved in job training at all.

They also go on to raise the question of how this program will succeed in provinces where there are plenty of workers but not enough jobs. In other words, in many regions, economic and business development seems much more important than training when it comes to boosting the local workforce.

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