News briefs

New funding for construction e-learning • Female grads make less than males • Alberta makes it easier to move from welfare to work • Are you a manager or a firefighter? • Nurse recruitment program ended • You can’t park that here

New funding for construction e-learning

— The Construction Sector Council is getting more than $650,000 from Ottawa to develop an online learning program that offers standardized construction management courses tailored to reflect provincial and territorial differences, such as differences in labour law. The funding will help to facilitate worker mobility and increase the number of certified project managers, superintendents and estimators in the industry.

Female grads make less than males

— Female university graduates in the Maritimes earn three-quarters of what their male counterparts receive, according to a new study by the Maritime Provinces High Education Commission. Two years after graduation from university, females working full time earned 78 per cent of the weekly wage of males, even after accounting for differences in field of study, occupation, location and hours worked.

Alberta makes it easier to move from welfare to work

— Alberta is overhauling welfare programs to emphasize job training. The change will see three old programs including welfare, skills development and Widows’ Pension rolled into a new program called Alberta Works. Under the new program, the province will help pay for items such as tools, work boots, child care and bus passes for welfare recipients who take job training. “In a province where employers are calling for more skilled workers, we will help more unemployed Albertans take their place in the workforce,” said Clint Dunford, Minister of Human Resources and Employment.

Are you a manager or a firefighter?

— Many managers are so busy dealing with unexpected crises at work, they don’t have time to tend to strategic business challenges, according a survey of 100 Canadian executives by staffing firm Accountemps. When asked how often they find themselves responding to unexpected crises at work, 21 per cent said a few times a day and 12 per cent said at least once a day. One per cent said once a month, 18 per cent said a few times a month, 12 per cent said once a week, 36 per cent said a few times a week.

Nurse recruitment program ended

— Ontario has suspended a program that offered free tuition to nursing students in exchange for them agreeing to work in under-serviced communities. Health Minister George Smitherman said few students have applied to the program. But Doris Grinspun, executive director of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, told the Toronto Star the program was put on the back burner when the Liberals swept to power in the province in October. “It never got off the ground,” said Grinspun. “I think it got lost in the black hole of transition between one government to another.”

You can’t park that here

St. Catharines, Ont.
— General Motors employees in St. Catharines, Ont., can’t park in the company’s main lot unless they drive a GM vehicle. Workers driving cars by other makers have to park in a smaller, less visible lot. Violators will be towed.

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