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Canada Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Cooperate to Strengthen Canada's Job Market

TORONTO, ONTARIO - (Marketwire - May 28, 2010) - Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the labour market met today as the Forum of Labour Market Ministers. They discussed the significant actions governments have taken to respond to the economic downturn, support job creation and how initiatives, such as training, need to evolve to meet future challenges and new economic opportunities.

"As Canada emerges from this recession, it is important to ensure that Canadian workers have the skills they need to contribute to our economy," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Co-Chair of the Forum. "Our discussions provided the opportunity to build upon the work that governments have already done to help Canadians prepare for jobs, coming out of the recession. While the economy recovers, all governments will continue to provide Canadians with opportunities to contribute to the labour force, as well as create and protect jobs."

The ministers acknowledged the success of the targeted and timely measures governments have taken to help Canadians weather the economic downturn. They discussed how governments can collaborate further to ensure that labour market programming is responding to current and future labour market challenges, such as persisting unemployment as well as expected skills shortages in key areas of the economy.

"Today's meeting underlined the importance of taking a collaborative approach to labour market issues facing the country," said the Honourable Donald Arseneault, Deputy Premier and Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for New Brunswick, and Co-Chair of the Forum. "Through federal, provincial and territorial investments and by working together on the renewal and rebuilding of a strong Canadian economy, all provinces and territories will be better equipped to emerge from the downturn and ready to compete in the new economy."

Ministers also reviewed key challenges faced in developing the workforce needed to allow Canada to fully benefit from economic recovery and careers of the future. Deputy Ministers were tasked with building on current FLMM priorities and exploring additional priority areas including improving productivity, maximizing the potential of Canada's workforce with a focus on older workers and underrepresented groups such as Aboriginal people, strengthening both digital and traditional literacy and essential skills for people currently in the workforce and seeking employment, and ensuring that programs are flexible enough to meet current and evolving needs.

The importance of integrating newcomers into the labour market to ensure Canada's long-term economic success was reiterated by the ministers. They discussed progress made on implementing the Forum's Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, and agreed that it is playing an important role in helping newcomers succeed and maximize their talents. As the Framework states, all governments are working towards the common goal of ensuring that foreign qualifications are recognized in a fair, consistent, transparent and timely manner.

It was agreed by all ministers that full labour mobility is essential for Canada's future productivity and prosperity, focusing particular attention on the amended labour mobility chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade. Governments are working individually and collectively to make labour mobility in Canada a reality. These changes, which have been in effect since August 2009, will ensure that workers certified for a regulated occupation in one province or territory will, upon application, be certified for that occupation anywhere it is regulated in Canada.

As well, the ministers talked about ongoing improvements made to the quality and accessibility of labour market information in Canada. They agreed that it is important that workers, employers, governments and learning institutions have the information they need to make informed training and labour market decisions in the new economy.

The Forum was created in 1983 as an intergovernmental forum established to strengthen co-operation and strategic thinking on the labour market priorities of the provinces, the territories and Canada.

Further details on the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications can be found on the following Web site:

For more information on labour mobility, please visit the following Web site:

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