With the 2021 federal election quickly approaching, I looked at the party platforms to see what mentions there were of literacy, skills, training, and credential recognition. I searched platform documents by keyword. The mentions I discovered can be found in the document below.
The NDP has a reference to literacy and essential skills, the only party to do so:
“…we’ll work closely with the provinces to establish national training priorities, and create a new Workers Development and Opportunities Fund to expand training options beyond people who qualify for EI. This fund will be provincially directed, with dedicated support for marginalized workers, those in transitioning sectors and for efforts to improve literacy and essential skills. (Page 33 – italics are mine)”
The Conservative Party proposes an investment in a Canada Job Training Fund. The fund would provide grants to employers, apprenticeship training delivery agents, unions, post-secondary institutions, and community organizations for projects that provide training to laid off workers and traditionally underrepresented groups. The party also pledges to create a Working Canadian Training Loan of up to $10,000. Interestingly, these commitments were listed twice in the platform document. The second mention of the Working Canadian Training Loan depicts it as:
“…empowering workers to determine what training they need rather than having the government tell them. (Page 43)”
The Conservatives would also create a fund that would assist women in shelters with career training.
The Green Party’s training proposals focus on training for high paying green sector jobs. It also proposes to increase the Canada Training Benefit to support continuous learning.
The Liberal Party commits to doubling the Union Training and Innovation program, creating opportunities for young people to work with business to adopt new technology, and invest in training for green jobs. It also outlines a plan to improve access to training by requiring businesses to include wrap-around supports – transportation to and from the training program, computers, food, referral to counselling, housing, and legal support, support in finding childcare, and mentoring or coaching.
The NDP proposes to require businesses to spend at least 1% of payroll on training. It also commits to lifelong access to publicly funded education including skills development and retraining programs. The platform proposes using EI to support return to school and to provide options for re-training before job loss. A new Workers Development and Opportunities Fund would target those who do not qualify for EI. Training would focus on traditionally underemployed groups and adapting to new technologies.
The Conservative Party would fund the hiring and training of economic development officers, work with Indigenous communities to access apprenticeship programs, and invest in trades training.
The NDP pledges to partner with Indigenous peoples on employment training, particularly by using Community Benefit Agreements and social enterprises.
The Conservative Party proposes to revive mine training in Nunavut to increase the employment of Inuit in mining.
The Green Party and Liberal Party both mention digital literacy within the context of misinformation and preventing radicalization.
All parties mention credential recognition. The Conservative Party would create a Credential Recognition Task Force to develop a strategy.
The Green Party links accreditation recognition with greater funding for language training and employment skills.
The Liberal Party would continue its work with provinces, territories, and regulatory bodies.
The NDP would improve the process as well as working with provinces to address gaps in settlement services.
The Conservative Party proposes several training measures for members of the armed forces including harmonizing trades training with the Red Seal program.
The Liberal Party would launch a National Veteran Employment Strategy including qualification recognition.