One province has made it official by announcing it has signed a Workforce Development Agreement with the federal government. On May 2, 2018, Ontario announced $6 billion over six years (https://bit.ly/2rxgiF2). The $6 billion breaks down between the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA). In the first two years, Ontario will receive $593 million through the WDA and more than $1.37 billion through the LMDA.
The WDA combines the Canada Job Fund, the Labour Market Development Agreement for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Older Worker agreements. The federal government will add $900 million over the next six years to the existing allocation of $722 million, which is a tremendous increase in funding.
Ontario’s press release indicates the WDA money will be used for:
- the Youth Job Connection program, which offers training, incentives and supports to youth who face barriers;
- skills training for people on social assistance to participate in skills training through Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program; and
- free adult education classes that help students improve reading, writing, math, computer and other essential skills to prepare them for education, training or better jobs.
It is not clear from the Ontario press release just how much would be used for each element.
The guidelines for 2018-2019 are the old Canada-Ontario Job Grant guidelines – there doesn’t appear to have been a change in title (see COJG – 2018-2019 Guidelines Training Deck). Two key changes for this fiscal year are:
- Access will be expanded by providing higher levels of support for small businesses by decreasing the contribution requirement from 1/3 to 1/6 and eliminating the “in -kind” contribution requirement.
- Contribution requirements will increase for large employers (100 or more employees) from 1/3 to 1/2, to offer a more balanced approach to cost-sharing between government and employers who have greater capacity to invest in their workforces.
I’m sure other provinces/territories have signed agreements, but I’ve not seen any public announcements yet.