News Briefs

Sask. enforces job-readiness test; Campaign targets construction, young workers; Bridging bursaries for newcomers

Sask. enforces job-readiness test

Regina — A mandatory, job-readiness test for Saskatchewan workers under the age of 16 comes into effect on March 31. The test can be taken online and a “work readiness” certificate will be issued upon successful completion. The test, which will focus on occupational health and safety and employment standards, is one of several conditions youths aged 14 and 15 must meet for employment, including parental consent and limits on hours and work times. The government hasn’t released a deadline for compliance but, ultimately, businesses that employ young workers without the certificates could be fined.

Campaign targets construction, young workers

Edmonton — A new campaign is encouraging Alberta’s construction and young workers to tell their boss where to find information on employment standards. With a working population of more than 100,000, Alberta tops the country with the highest proportion of 15 to 19 year olds in the workforce. The campaign is meant “to encourage all workers, and these sectors in particular, to ask questions if they’re not sure of their employment standards rights and responsibilities on the job,” said Minister of Employment and Immigration Thomas Lukaszuk. The campaign runs until March 21. More information is found at

Bridging bursaries for newcomers

Toronto — Ontario is introducing a new education bursary, the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program, to help newcomers gain the local training they need to find a job in their field. The 19-month pilot program will help cover the cost of short-term college and university bridge-training programs and is expected to help more than 1,800 newcomers. People who participate will also have access to internships, clinical placements, job shadowing and mentorships, as well as employment services such as interview preparation, labour market information and job search skills.

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