Who Should be Helped First? Employed Workers or the Unemployed?

Donna Wood’s latest blog post – worth a read. Her conclusion:

“Our workforce development infrastructure is in dire need of revitalization and reform, with many issues needing to be addressed. Indeed, we probably do need to pay attention to the impact of automation on current jobs.

But let’s not get the cart before the horse. Before we start to extend services to the employed to the level recommended by the Advisory Council, we need first to expand, strengthen and consolidate the services on offer by provincial governments to the unemployed. That has to be the first priority. If only we knew in more detail what our governments had in mind.”

The Welfare State Matters....

With government resources always limited, would Canadians prefer that we spend more on training employed workers over the unemployed? I think this is unlikely. Yet that is exactly what the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth has suggested in their December 2017 Learning Nation: Equipping Canada’s Workforce with Skills for the Future.

Acknowledging that automation and changes in existing occupations could threaten the jobs of more than 10 per cent of Canadian workers ─ about 2 million people ─ the Council has recommended a $15 billion dollar investment in a federally-governed Canada Lifelong Learning Fund and the transformation of the network of provincially[1] operated employment centres that primarily serve the unemployed to also serve the employed.

The employment centres use names such as Work BC, Alberta Works, Employment Ontario, and Emploi-Quebec. Although in some places provincial offices provide the ‘front door’, most…

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About Brigid Hayes

Brigid Hayes has developed an expertise in learning that spans almost 30 years as a senior policy advisor, program manager and partnership developer. Her knowledge of and experience in workplace literacy and learning has contributed to her recognition as an expert in this field, and she has undertaken significant activities to both help promote and enhance literacy and lifelong learning. Brigid works as an independent consultant and expert advisor on learning, literacy, and work. She has successfully developed a strategic planning and policy development practice involving workplace literacy, essential skills, partnership development, research, and evaluation.
This entry was posted in Canada Job Grant, Labour Market Agreements, Skills. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Who Should be Helped First? Employed Workers or the Unemployed?

  1. Coreen Jenner says:

    I work under the ASETS agreement and we work first with the unemployed or underemployed. But I also would understand someone who is employed having the option, and my advise is while they are working then develop your plan and work towards it, because most people could not live on the living supports provided. It is all in the planning.


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