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Government of Canada invests to help Albertans improve their skills and find jobs in today’s labour market

Press Release

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

November 20, 2023

As Canada’s workforce continues to strengthen and expand, it is important to ensure that Canadians have the right skill sets to find meaningful jobs and to progress in their careers. Labour markets are changing, and workers need to be ready. That is why the Government of Canada, along with its provincial and territorial partners, is helping Canadians access the skills training they need to take advantage of economic opportunities wherever they exist.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, together with Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Matt Jones, announced an additional $72.9 million to Alberta for a total of $322 million in 2023–24 under the labour market agreements. This additional funding builds on years of investments and will ensure Albertans can access the supports they need to fully participate in the labour market in different sectors such as in agriculture, tourism and technology.

Building on measures already in place, this investment will offer extensive new training and career development opportunities for Alberta residents, allowing them to improve their skills, find long-term jobs and advance their career opportunities. In 2021–22, more than 100,000 Albertans received training and employment supports through the labour market agreements.

Minister Boissonnault made this announcement during a visit to NorQuest College, a job skills training provider. Through their various programs and initiatives, which receive funding through labour market agreements, NorQuest College will connect Indigenous workers with training and career opportunities in the construction industry. The college will also provide participants who are looking to enhance their skills with access to computers and career coaching. Additionally, NorQuest College will offer upskilling through virtual reality technology, benefiting students, unemployed individuals and employers.

Labour market agreements fund both Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) through bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories. LMDAs are an essential part of Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program. They support millions of workers every year by providing training, upskilling, employment supports, career counselling and job search assistance. WDAs assist individuals regardless of their EI history or employment status. Those who are unemployed, underemployed, employed or self-employed can receive supports to upskill and reorient their careers and, ultimately, to find and maintain good jobs.

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A skilled workforce is crucial to ensure Alberta’s continued prosperity. This investment will help position Albertans for success by helping workers access essential training and employment supports. Together with the Government of Alberta, we are paving the way for economic growth that empowers all Albertans to succeed as we build a national economy that works for everyone.”

–  Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault

“As the province’s economy continues to grow and diversify, Alberta’s government is taking action to ensure Alberta’s workforce remains diverse and highly skilled, with the expertise businesses need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Alberta is pleased to partner with the federal government so Albertans can take advantage of the growing number of high-quality jobs across the province and contribute their skills and talents to keeping Alberta’s economy strong.”

–  Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Matt Jones

“Our government is committed to creating more pathways and opportunities for Albertans to gain the skills they need to succeed. We are proud of our post-secondary system as it continues to offer the highest quality education to learners, while ensuring they have the skills needed to meet the needs of the industry. With labour forecasts projecting continued growth well into the future, we remain committed to ensuring that there is space for everyone who chooses to pursue a rewarding career in the trades.”

– Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

“Thanks to this investment in workforce-relevant education, Alberta is better positioned to unlock the potential of its people. Our province has a strong and diverse community of learners, who now have more opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills they need to advance their careers and contribute to the economic and social needs of our province.”

– President and Chief Executive Officer of NorQuest College, Carolyn Campbell

Quick facts

  • The additional $72.9 million investment to Alberta under the labour market agreements for 2023–24 is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment in Budget 2023 to provide an additional $625 million in labour market agreements for 2023–24. This investment will continue to support Canadians in accessing training and services they need to get their next job, while contributing to their local workforce.
  • In fiscal year 2021–22, $316.7 million was provided to Alberta through the labour market transfers for training and employment supports to individuals and employers.
  • The Government of Canada’s largest investment in training is through bilateral labour market transfers with provinces and territories. Each year, approximately $3 billion is provided to individuals and employers through Canada’s LMDAs and WDAs. These investments help more than 1 million Canadians every year to acquire new skills and prepare for their next job.
  • As part of the $3 billion, the Government of Canada provides over $2 billion each year through the LMDAs to support individuals who are receiving EI income benefits or individuals with recent EI contributions or usage, to provide them with skills training and employment services to find a new job. Individuals who receive LMDA supports have faster returns to work, increased annual earnings and lower reliance on income benefits such as EI. LMDAs are funded by the EI contributions made by employers and workers.
  • Over the past two decades, provincial and territorial training and employment programs funded by labour market transfers have helped millions of Canadians improve their skills. These programs underpin the Government of Canada’s priorities of growing the middle class, driving inclusive growth, reducing poverty and closing the gender pay gap.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Farrah-Lilia Kerkadi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

Andrea Smith
Press Secretary
Alberta Jobs, Economy and Trade|


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