Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Older workers helped to get new jobs (09/09/11)

NB 1332

Sept. 11, 2009

EEL RIVER CROSSING (CNB) - The federal and provincial governments are investing more than $10 million and extending the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers until March 2012 to help older workers remain active in the workforce. This support will help up to 1,000 older workers in New Brunswick acquire new skills and find jobs.

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault and Senator Percy Mockler today announced three new projects funded through the federal/provincial partnership. These projects will help up to 110 older workers from the Restigouche-Chaleur, Acadian Peninsula, and Northumberland/Miramichi regions.

"We are investing in our people so they are better educated and multi-skilled," said Arseneault. "Considering the present labour market situation, combined with the exodus of the population in some regions, the hiring of older workers through this initiative is an interesting option for employers.

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is designed to help unemployed older workers living in communities affected by high unemployment and/or downsizing. Through the initiative, these individuals can get the skills they need to find and keep new jobs, or start their own businesses, in order to keep contributing to their communities and Canada's economy.

"When Canadians, including older workers, lose their jobs, we want to help them get back into the workforce as soon as possible," said Mockler. "Every region has different needs, and that is why we are working closely with New Brunswick to ensure that older workers receive the support, training and skills development opportunities they need to find jobs and adapt to economic changes."

Mockler attended on behalf of Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development Canada.

Activities undertaken through this initiative will involve promoting the value of older workers to employers, delivering training workshops, matching the participants with employers to help them gain new work experience, and supporting them throughout their placements.

The original agreement between the two governments was signed in 2007. Through this funding, the Government of New Brunswick was able to implement three projects in three different communities. These projects have helped up to 180 unemployed older workers get training, find new jobs or become self-employed.

Under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government is providing an additional $60 million nationally over three years for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. This investment could allow up to 6,000 more participants across the country to benefit from the specialized support they need to move to new jobs. This funding builds on previous investments in Budget 2006, which committed $70 million to implement the initiative, and Budget 2008, which extended the initiative to March 31, 2012, with an additional investment of $90 million.

09/09/11

EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information on the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-444-3465; Michelle Bakos, press secretary, Office of Minister Finley, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 819-994-5559.

Backgrounder - Targeted Initiative for Older Workers

About the program

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is a federal/provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that provides employment assistance services and activities, such as skills upgrading and work experience, to improve the employability of unemployed older workers aged 55 to 64 living in vulnerable communities. To date, more than 4,000 workers across Canada have been helped through this initiative.

About the new projects

The New Start/Nouveau Départ! 55+ projects will run in the Restigouche-Chaleur, Acadian Peninsula and Northumberland/Miramichi regions, and will help up to 110 unemployed older workers gain access to job opportunities.

The projects will support the community and economic development of each region by targeting employers in sectors facing labour shortages, in order to help them address their human resources needs.

As well as providing work experience to participants, employers will help develop short-term training programs, which will include basic essential skills, prior learning recognition, employment assistance, and specific skills training.

Restigouche-Chaleur

The project is receiving joint funding of $698,282 in order to help up to 50 participants in the region.

Northumberland/Miramichi

The project is expected to help up to 30 participants. It will receive joint funding of $507,597.

Acadian Peninsula

The project will help up to 30 participants in this region and will receive joint funding of $454,558.

09/09/11