News briefs

Review of apprentice system • High dollar puts pressure on productivity • E.I. expansion mulled • Nova Scotia pursues foreign workers • Another new outsourcing player • Nfld. increasesminimum wage

Review of apprentice system

— Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has created a new apprenticeship advisory committee to consult with business, labour and provincial governments. The committee will synthesize the views of workplace partners on issues such as increasing the participation of business and labour in apprenticeship, and improving the interprovincial mobility of apprentices and skilled tradespeople. The committee will submit its final report by the end of September 2005.

High dollar puts pressure on productivity

— Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale warned the strong Canadian dollar means business has to compensate with productivity increases or Canada will suffer in the global marketplace. Canadian exporters have had it easy for more than a decade because of a 62-cent dollar, but those days are over and the economy must adjust, Goodale said during a Liberal caucus retreat in New Brunswick.

E.I. expansion mulled

— Newly appointed Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Lucienne Robillard wants her government to rethink Employment Insurance and extend it to self-employed Canadians. Other federal initiatives such as maternity leave and training should also reflect the reality that self-employment is a growing reality, she said.

Nova Scotia pursues foreign workers

— Nova Scotia wants to double the number of skilled immigrants it attracts to 3,600 annually by 2010. The January announcement of a new immigration strategy includes promoting the province and helping newcomers settle. The government is soliciting help from business, service organizations, labour and professional organizations. A new cabinet post of Immigration Minister has also been created.

Another new outsourcing player

Plano, Tex.
— Business process outsourcer EDS and HR consulting firm Towers Perrin have joined forces to create a new HR outsourcing company. Pending approval by Towers Perrin shareholders, EDS will own 85 per cent of the new company, and Towers Perrin will own the remaining 15 per cent.

Nfld. increases minimum wage

St. John’s
— The minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador will increase to $6.25 from $6 on June 1. For a current update of minimum wages click on the related articles link below.

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