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Funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

Posted on June 29, 2018

Government of Canada announces funding agreement to give British Columbians the tools they need to find and keep good jobs

June 29, 2018 Employment and Social Development Canada

Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country welcomed today’s announcement thatthe governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with over $2.5 billion over six years to invest in their workers. These agreements represent an increase in funding of over $250 million over the period, compared to previous funding levels. This increase means an estimated 84,000 more British Columbians will benefit over the six year period.

These agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

Through these new agreements, the Government of Canada is ensuring more people benefit from these programs than before—including people from groups typically under-represented in our workforce, such as people with disabilities, women and Indigenous people.

As innovation and technology continue to change how we live and work, people in British Columbia, and all Canadians are met with new challenges and new opportunities. This Government investment in jobs and skills training will help British Columbians prepare for the good, well-paying jobs that will be createdby British Columbia’s growing economy. Everybody deserves the opportunity to benefit from an innovation-driven economy—and that means ensuring that both employed and unemployed people have opportunities to acquire the skills they will need for the jobs of today as well as the jobs of tomorrow.

The agreements announced today are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years British Columbia will receive approximately $844 million—more than $211 million through the WDA and close to $633 million through the LMDA.

Results matter. That is why these agreements include a commitment to performance measurement. That means that Canada and British Columbia will be able to measure how these programs are increasing people’s earnings, helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers forunder-represented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. The Government of Canada will be reporting to Canadians on the impacts of these programs, so that they are transparent and so that they can be continually improved.

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women in Victoria whose goal is to help women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Persons Trades Training that assists Indigenous people explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs, through:

  •  84 WorkBC Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job search resources, employment planning, skills training, and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC Centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce through projects that offer skills training and work experience.

The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) where single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Every Canadian deserves a fair and equal chance at success in the workforce. Through smart investments like the provincial agreements announced today, we can strengthen our middle class and help more of the people working so hard to join it.


“I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people. Through investments like today’s agreements with British Columbia, we’re ensuring our people can continue to be competitive, resilient and responsiveas jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers and their families thrive.”

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Economic growth relies on having a skilled workforce able to adapt to a rapidly changing labour market. This additional funding will help those in BC and our in our own community obtain the skills they need tosupport themselves and their families.”
– Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament Kelowna-Lake Country

“The new Labour Market Development Agreement expands eligibility to people who are underemployed – someone in a job with unpredictable hours, little long-term security, or that doesn’t match their skills.By increasing employment opportunities and earnings potential, we can help lift more people out ofpoverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.”

– The Honourable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for,with a specific focus on under-represented and vulnerable groups. The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming. We want everyone to be able to participate in and prosperfrom B.C.’s strong, sustainable economy.”

– The Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Quick facts

  • Until recently, the Government of Canada transferred nearly $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Through Budget 2017, the Government is investing an additional $2.7 billion from 2017–18 to 2022–23:
    • $900 million over a period of six years (in addition to the $722 million provided annually) in new WDAs that consolidate the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (expired in March 2017); and
    • $1.8 billion over six years in amended LMDAs to provinces and territories.
  • In total, from 2017–18 to 2022–23, the Government will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.
  • Through these agreements, provincial and territorial governments will have greater flexibility in the design and delivery of programming and services to respond to the diverse and emerging needs of Canadians.
  • The LMDAs and WDAs include a commitment to strong performance measurement. Canada andBritish Columbia will work together to measure how programs are increasing people’s earnings,helping them get jobs that last, and breaking down barriers for under-represented groups like Indigenous people, people with disabilities and women. Canada and British Columbia will report to Canadians on the impacts of these programs to support continuous improvement.

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Associated links


Veronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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Rodney Porter
250 889-7494
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Maryann Anderson
778 677-0440
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction