Budget ’09

Details of the proposed federal budget  were announced yesterday and all those who seek labour market information should have been paying attention.

You can see all of the details here but I want to focus on a couple of areas that will be of interest if you work in education, construction or transportation.

$1.5 billion dollars worth of new funding was committed to worker training and retraining. A large chunk of this funding will flow indirectly to private and public schools who will be needing to hire new teaching and support staff.

And of course I couldn’t comment on this budget without bringing up the “I word” as the budget proposes $12 billion in new infrastructure spending over two years. I’ve selected a few highlights to list below.

  • $2 billion to repair, retrofit and expand facilities at post-secondary institutions.
  • 4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that will provide funding to renew infrastructure
  •  $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund to support projects such as sustainable energy.
  • $500 million over two years to build and renew community recreation facilities across Canada.
  • $500 million over the next two years for infrastructure projects in small communities.

Silver lining time

sunraysLet’s look beyond the headlines for a moment. This article from the Wall St. Journal has the gloomy headline of “Canadian Minister Says Outlook Is Getting Worse”. The article outlines some of the challenges the Canadian economy is facing and discussed a proposed stimulus package.

Most media reports indicate that a stimulus package will have some sort of component that includes massive spending on infrastructure projects. This means that billions of dollars will be pumped into the system for roads, bridges, transit, water, energy, port expansion and other projects. Companies and municipalities will need to hire qualified technicians, engineers, labourers, accountants and other workers in order to ensure they can complete these projects.

Bonus idiom: Every cloud has a silver lining

In the driver’s seat

truck.jpgThe transportation sector is one of many that is facing a shortage of skilled workers. The workforce is aging and fewer young people are interested in this career which means that many of the projected job openings will go unfilled. 

 Employers in this sector are looking abroad in the hopes that immigration can provide a supply of skilled drivers. Recruiting and training new drivers is just half the battle however. This article looks at struggle that companies face in retaining their skilled immigrant drivers once they are hired.