Premiers Committed to Enhancing Skills Development and Immigration

Premiers Committed to Enhancing Skills Development and Immigration

SASKATOON, SK, July 10, 2019 – Supporting effective labour mobility and foreign qualification recognition processes, ensuring workers can access needed skills and training, and building an inclusive and diverse labour market are essential to growing Canada’s economy and creating jobs. Premiers are committed to ongoing progress in these areas. Premiers also acknowledged the importance of increasing safety on Canada’s roads through work on mandatory entry-level training for truck drivers.

Transportation Safety
The matter of road safety, for drivers, passengers and other road users, has been at the forefront of collective thought since the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018. The tragedy reverberated throughout Saskatchewan, across Canada and around the world. It prompted Canada’s provincial, territorial and federal leaders to take a more urgent look at the state of road and commercial vehicle safety in this country and how it can be improved to help prevent future collisions.

Several jurisdictions have already made changes to improve safety by implementing ambitious mandatory entry-level training for those seeking Class 1 licences. Further, ministers of transportation also made significant progress in January 2019 by committing to develop a national standard for entry-level training for commercial drivers in Canada by January 2020. Premiers commend the work of transportation ministers in achieving this critical outcome.

As much of the responsibility for road and commercial vehicle safety lies with provinces and territories, Premiers have a leadership role to play in making safety requirements consistent and fair across the board. With this in mind, Premiers commit to being well on their way to adopting a minimum national entry-level training standard by 2021. Building on the work underway, a new minimum standard will strengthen commercial vehicle safety on roads across Canada through the application of a consistent and reasonable approach.

Premiers are also committed to exploring online programming options for the in-class portion of the training with the goal of making training more accessible for those seeking a Class 1 commercial license.

Labour Mobility and Foreign Qualification Recognition
An agile and skilled workforce is critical to a strong economy. Premiers task provincial and territorial labour market ministers to work toward mutual recognition of occupational qualifications. Premiers direct provincial and territorial ministers responsible for apprenticeship to continue pursuing apprenticeship mobility and identify other opportunities to encourage full participation in existing pan-Canadian initiatives.

Newcomers and foreign-trained Canadians must be able to get timely and fair assessments of their qualifications in order to find good well-paying jobs and participate fully in Canada’s economy. Existing work on foreign qualifications recognition has provided meaningful progress on enhancing the timeliness and fairness of foreign qualification recognition processes. Premiers direct labour market ministers to develop a strategic plan that will enhance collaboration, and seek opportunities to improve timeliness, fairness and transparency of assessment processes for newcomers.