Ten new target occupations are being added to the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. That’s one of the outcomes of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), co‑chaired by Jason Kenney, federal minister of employment and social development and minister for multiculturalism, and Allen Roach, Prince Edward Island minister of innovation and advanced learning.
The Pan-Canadian Framework helps improve foreign qualification assessment and recognition for internationally trained professionals, so they can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. Provinces and territories will determine their level of engagement with the new target occupations, depending on their own labour market needs.
The ministers also agreed to launch an action plan in the fall to further improve foreign qualification recognition. Provincial and territorial ministers will also consult regulatory bodies on areas such as pre-arrival supports for newcomers.
The labour market ministers met on the weekend to discuss elements that are critical to strong labour markets and collaborative efforts that can be undertaken to support this goal.
Labour market information
The ministers agreed better labour market information is required to support decision-making by jobseekers, students, employers and policymaker, especially whehn it comes to education decisions and connecting with available jobs. And increased collaboration between governments is necessary to support ongoing improvements to the quality and accessibility of labour market information.
The federal government has agreed to fund two new surveys, at a cost of $14 million annually, to collect reliable and comparable information on wages and job vacancies, and identify current and emerging labour market pressures.
The ministers also agreed to enhance the collection of new labour market information and to improve data sharing and the Post-Secondary Student Information System.
The federal government will also move forward with an enhanced job-matching service in collaboration with provinces and territories.
The ministers agreed to a pan-Canadian initiative on harmonization of the Red Seal trades, and they will be given a report back this fall on the implementation of harmonization in 10 Red Seal trades in 18 months.
The ministers will receive a report that covers employer engagement as a means to improve completion rates.
The forum said they are committed to continuing the removal of barriers to labour mobility. The Agreement on Internal Trade guarantees that workers certified for a regulated occupation in one province or territory will, upon application, be certified for that occupation anywhere it is regulated in Canada.
They agreed on the need to provide Canadians with more information, including online, to help workers have their qualifications recognized anywhere in Canada.
Labour market funding agreements
The ministers discussed labour market funding agreements that provide training and employment support for Canadians, such as Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and Job Fund Agreements.
In the coming months, the results of stakeholder consultations will be shared and the ministers will work collaboratively to ensure these agreements meet the needs of today's labour markets, while ensuring strong accountability for results.
The forum also discussed implementation of Job Fund Agreements across the country. A key component of the negotiated agreements is the Canada Job Grant and provincial and territorial ministers committed to implementing the Canada Job Grant in the weeks and months ahead.
The ministers also discussed the importance of the review that will take place in 2015, which will allow governments to examine implementation of the Canada Job Grant and make improvements as necessary. Participants created a working group to develop the terms of reference for the evaluation of the job grant.
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