Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Government announces $250,000 for essential-skills program (09/05/06)

NB 633

May 6, 2009

SAINT JOHN (CNB) - Government is investing $250,000 over three years in TIES 2 Work, a new training program in workplace essential skills that will provide employment opportunities for people living in poverty. Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault made the announcement today at the Saint John Learning Exchange.


"TIES 2 Work is a new employer-specific training approach that matches employers and potential employees through workplace essential skills training," said Arseneault. "By focusing on specific, practical skills needed by employers, this program will train and place up to 24 individuals each year in positions with various local companies. This is an important step in moving participants to full time employment, and helping bring New Brunswickers toward self-sufficiency."

TIES 2 Work will be managed by a leadership team with representatives from the community, business, education and government. The program, funded through the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, and delivered at the Saint John Learning Exchange, will provide participants with essential skills training to prepare them to be matched with specific job openings.

"The TIES 2 Work program is an excellent example of collaboration between community-based programs, business, government, NBCC-Saint John campus, and UNBSJ," said Regena Farnsworth, chair of the leadership team. "It is a privilege to work with a team that shares a common vision of moving people out of poverty and into work."

Employers will benefit from this collaborative effort with reductions in the cost and risk of bringing on new employees. There is also the possibility of increased productivity as a result of having trained and screened employees. The program is an investment in the recommendations from the Benefits Blueprint Report.

"Community partnerships such as this are crucial to improving on continuing programs offered in Saint John," said Kate Barnett, president of the Saint John Learning Exchange. "Through this partnership we are now able to provide not only literacy programs, but workplace essential skills training that leads to full-time employment."

The need to work with employers to provide training and employment opportunities to low-income New Brunswickers was a common theme heard throughout Phase I of the public engagement, Bringing the pieces together. This process is moving ahead with the development of a plan to reduce poverty in New Brunswick. After hearing from almost 2,500 New Brunswickers, the process is now moving into its second phase, with roundtable sessions. Participants will develop options for actions that will be submitted to a final forum in November 2009, where a final plan to reduce poverty will be adopted.

More information about programs offered through the Saint John Learning Exchange may be found on its website.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Sheri Strickland, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617; Christina Fowler, Saint John Learning Exchange, 506-648-0202.