PCA Welcomes Federal Budget Commitments to Increase Support for Skills Training


New initiatives build on Canada Job Grant to increase skills training access and opportunities for Canadian workers

February 11, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) today welcomed the Government of Canada’s expanded commitment to skills training in Economic Action Plan 2014. PCA believes the newly proposed federal initiatives to boost access and affordability of skills training will complement the soon-to-be-launched Canada Job Grant and play a central role in advancing job creation and economic opportunity in Canada’s construction industry.

“This is a good news budget for businesses, workers and job seekers in Canada’s construction industry,” said PCA Federal Director, Sean Reid. “Good, high-paying jobs are here for the taking in our industry. Our challenge is helping job-seekers access the training and information they need to successfully compete for those jobs. That is a big part of what this federal budget is all about.”

Economic Action Plan 2014 contains a number of commitments that will directly benefit PCA member companies and their workers, including:

        Creating the Canada Apprenticeship Loan

        Introducing the Flexibility and Apprenticeship Technical Training pilot project

        Launching an enhanced Job Matching Service

        Strengthening support for the National Energy Board to ensure comprehensive and timely review of resource development projects

PCA was pleased to see the government reaffirm its commitment to launch the Canada Job Grant on April 1, 2014, while providing additional flexibility to ensure small businesses participate in this important skills training initiative.

“The time for the Canada Job Grant is now,” said Mr. Reid. “We are pleased the government has listened to the concerns of small businesses and taken steps to ensure the fullest possible participation in this innovative skills training program. We look forward to continued partnership with the Government of Canada on the roll-out of the Job Grant this Spring.”    

PCA also acknowledged the government’s continued focus on reforming Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

“We understand and respect the balanced approach the government is taking with TFW program reforms,” said Mr. Reid. “We are pleased the government has committed to improve processing times for certain applications to address acute skills shortages in areas of low unemployment.”

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA):

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers across Canada, represented primarily by CLAC. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada.

PCA’s goal is to ensure that Canada has a fair and open construction industry, cooperative labour relations, and a robust, inclusive and highly-capable workforce. PCA believes in open competition in which no sector is given artificial and unfair advantage over another on the basis of union affiliation or lack thereof.