A new Nova Scotia workforce strategy will help to address the economic challenges presented by a shrinking workforce and help Nova Scotians to acquire the right skills for good jobs, said the provincial government.
"As the population gets older, people are retiring from the workforce and too few people with the right skills are available to replace them," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "Nova Scotia's workforce strategy is about helping us adapt and overcome our new demographic reality."
The workforce strategy describes a number of actions under three priority areas:
•increasing the amount of learning and skills development in the workplace
•helping Nova Scotians to prepare for and connect with good jobs
•growing the workforce, both in numbers and skills.
"Nova Scotia's working-age population will decline by 47,000 people over the next decade, creating a situation in which there are jobs without people and people without jobs," said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More. "The workforce strategy calls on all of us — every worker, potential worker and employer, as well as every business, industry sector and government — to think about what we can do now to be more competitive in tomorrow's labour market."
The strategy provides supports to help young people and their parents to make informed decisions about career options, and expands adult learning and online learning opportunities. It provides programs for Nova Scotians who are unemployed or underemployed and returning to the workforce or looking for their first job.
It also targets groups that are under-represented in the workforce such as women, African and Aboriginal Nova Scotians, people with disabilities, older workers, low-skilled individuals and those who may face other barriers to finding work, said the government.
"A successful workforce strategy means all able and available Nova Scotians can fully realize the opportunities in front of them, including the many high value jobs that will come with the shipbuilding contracts," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "Nova Scotians will be ready with the right skills and education to meet the job opportunities of the future, and businesses will benefit by having a rich diversity of skilled workers, each contributing ideas and knowledge that will foster better productivity and strengthen their competitiveness."
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