News release

Province Launches Workforce Strategy

NOTE: A social media version of this release with video clips is available at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2011-11-22-Workforce-Strategy/. Hi-res, downloadable photos, audio clips and a video of the event will be added after the event.

A new provincial Workforce Strategy will help to address the economic challenges presented by a shrinking workforce and help Nova Scotians to acquire the right skills for good jobs.

Premier Darrell Dexter unveiled Nova Scotia's Workforce Strategy, part of the jobsHere plan to grow the economy at Advanced Precision, an aerospace, defence and oceans technology manufacturing company in Dartmouth today, Nov. 22.

"As the population gets older, people are retiring from the workforce and too few people with the right skills are available to replace them," said Premier Dexter. "Nova Scotia's workforce strategy is about helping us adapt and overcome our new demographic reality."

The Workforce Strategy describes a number of actions under three priority areas: increasing the amount of learning and skills development in the workplace; helping Nova Scotians to prepare for and connect with good jobs; and growing the workforce, both in numbers and skills.

"Nova Scotia's working-age population will decline by 47,000 people over the next decade, creating a situation in which there are jobs without people and people without jobs," said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More. "The workforce strategy calls on all of us -- every worker, potential worker and employer, as well as every business, industry sector and government -- to think about what we can do now to be more competitive in tomorrow's labour market."

The strategy provides supports to help young people and their parents make informed decisions about career options, and expands adult learning and online learning opportunities. It provides programs for Nova Scotians who are unemployed or underemployed and returning to the workforce or looking for their first job.

It also targets groups that are under-represented in the workforce: women, African and Aboriginal Nova Scotians, people with disabilities, older workers, low-skilled individuals and those who may face other barriers to finding work.

"A successful workforce strategy means all able and available Nova Scotians can fully realize the opportunities in front of them, including the many high value jobs that will come with the shipbuilding contracts," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "Nova Scotians will be ready with the right skills and education to meet the job opportunities of the future, and businesses will benefit by having a rich diversity of skilled workers, each contributing ideas and knowledge that will foster better productivity and strengthen their competitiveness."

Advanced Precision is taking advantage of government programs to get their workforce ready to meet the needs of the future.

"We've made a significant capital investment in state of the art machinery. In order for the company to realize all the benefits associated with technological advancement, our workforce must have the essential skills required to make the most of our investment," said Susan Elliott, manager of human resources, Advanced Precision." This is a situation where we reap the immediate benefit of increased efficiency and are positioned to take on more complex work in the future."

The strategy can be downloaded by going to www.gov.ns.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province has a new Workforce Strategy to deal with a shrinking workforce and help Nova Scotians get the right skills for good jobs.

Premier Darrell Dexter says that as the population ages, people are retiring from the workforce and too few people with the right skills are available to replace them.

He says the workforce strategy will help individuals and businesses adapt to the new demographic reality.

The Workforce Strategy sets out a number of actions under three priority areas: learning and skills development in the workplace; helping Nova Scotians connect with good jobs; and growing the workforce.

It's part of the province's jobsHere plan to grow the economy.

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Media Contact:

Melissa MacKinnon
Premier's Office 902-240-9077 E-mail:
Pam Menchenton
Labour and Advanced Education 902-424-0011 Cell: 902-719-4950 E-mail:
Patricia Jreige
Economic and Rural Development and Tourism 902-424-5584 Cell: 902-718-7866 E-mail: