News briefs

Immigrant start-ups; Federal detention centres butt out; Funds help train older workers; Navy needs skilled workers in the east; Global M&A deals to hit record high; Union offers journalists survival training

Immigrant start-ups

Saint John, N.B. — The New Brunswick government is teaming up with Enterprise Saint John to provide mentorship and training to immigrants in Saint John interested in starting their own businesses. The pilot program, Immigrant Business Start-Up, is for refugees and family-class immigrants who are legally allowed to work in Canada. The program will teach participants about the province’s business and social culture, basic business concepts and help them connect with the local business community. The program will run for 10 months and have a maximum of 10 participants.

Federal detention centres butt out

Ottawa — The Correctional Service of Canada will implement a total smoking ban by April 30, 2008, in all federal correctional facilities. An indoor smoking ban has been in place since Jan. 31, 2006. Most provinces now have a total smoking ban in their detention facilities.

Funds help train older workers

Charlottetown — The federal government and the government of Prince Edward Island will provide nearly $900,000 in funding to help local unemployed older workers get back into the workforce. The funding will go to community-based projects to provide job counselling, skills upgrading and work experience to about 180 older workers in communities and sectors hit hard by unemployment on the Island. The funding is part of the federal, $70-million Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program.

Navy needs skilled workers in the east

Halifax — The navy has partnered with Nova Scotia Community College to create an apprenticeship program in an attempt to stave off a potential shortfall of hundreds of civilian workers at CFB Halifax’s HMC Dockyard. The Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, part of the dockyard, employs 1,000 people and the average age is 49. Besides the impending retirements, the propensity for young Maritimers to move to the Alberta oil patch means the navy is facing an impending talent shortage of civilian and uniformed personnel, according to Rear Admiral Dean McFadden, the commander of Joint Task Force Atlantic.

Global M&A deals to hit record high

London — Global mergers and acquisitions are on course to hit a record volume high by the end of 2007, according to Thomson. Corporate activity helped global deal volumes rise 17 per cent in the third quarter to $884 billion US, filling the void left by buyout firms that were unable to raise cash because of the recent slowdown in debt markets. The first nine months of 2007 saw a 37-per-cent increase in global M&A activity over the record year of 2006.

Union offers journalists survival training

Baghdad — The Iraqi Journalists Union is planning to offer survival training to help its members cope with the risks of working in Iraq. Since the war started in 2003, 200 journalists, mostly Iraqis, have been killed in Iraq, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based organization for the protection of journalists. The union will offer martial arts training and survival courses to reporters, photographers and television crews. The union is also calling on the Iraqi government to relax firearms regulations to allow journalists to carry weapons.

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