Ottawa, ON —The Government is moving forward on its Economic Action Plan commitment to better connect Canadians with available jobs, including a new, enhanced Job Alerts system, announced the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
“Our government is making common-sense changes to help better connect unemployed Canadians with available jobs in their local area that match their skills,” said Minister Finley. “Part of this initiative required regulatory updates, and I am pleased that this process has now been completed.”
The Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs initiative, introduced in Economic Action Plan 2012 and announced in May 2012, includes new definitions for “reasonable job search” and “suitable employment.” These updated definitions have passed through the regulatory process and will come into force on January 6, 2013. As previously announced, several factors will be considered in defining suitable employment, including: type of work, wages, commuting time, working conditions, hours of work and personal circumstances. While Employment Insurance (EI) regular and fishing claimants have always had an obligation to look for work, these definitions clarify claimants’ responsibilities to look for and accept suitable work.
This initiative takes into consideration a claimant’s EI benefit payment amount and ensures that, for an employment opportunity to be deemed suitable, a claimant must be better off financially accepting the job than receiving EI regular or fishing benefits. Financial implications associated with accepting a job, such as childcare and transportation costs, will always be considered in determining if a job opportunity is suitable.
“The new, enhanced Job Alerts system is being introduced to improve and strengthen the job information made available to Canadians,” continued Minister Finley. “We are pleased to launch this system in January and begin better helping people find employment opportunities in their area, from a variety of sources.”
With the enhanced system, claimants will be notified of new job postings daily, so that they can pursue opportunities as they arise. As the system continues to evolve, they will also receive additional information that can help them decide how and when to expand a job search. A claimant may also choose to receive information on related jobs or the job market in other regions.
Finally, the Government will continue working with interested provinces and territories to explore ways to help people on EI access employment supports earlier in their claim. Skills development and training are important elements in addressing Canada’s labour and skills shortages. Each year, the Government of Canada transfers $2.7 billion to the provinces and territories to help ensure that all unemployed and low-skilled Canadians get the training and services they need to participate fully in the workforce.
“Our government’s top priorities are job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians, and in order to achieve that, we need everyone’s skills and talent at work in Canada,” concluded Minister Finley. “These changes will better connect Canadians with available jobs, while ensuring that EI continues to be there for those who need it.”
For general information on the EI program, visit servicecanada.ca/eichanges.