Alberta slashes training despite zero job growth | National Union of Public and General Employees

Alberta slashes training despite zero job growth

New research shows Alberta has cut job training significantly despite increased need by aboriginals and young workers.

Edmonton (8 June 2010) - The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) says new research shows that Alberta is cutting employment training programs by $23 million, mainly to the detriment of aboriginals and youth.

“The government had in place a number of very successful programs that helped aboriginals and youth overcome obstacles and find meaningful work,” says Mike Sutherland, a former job-placement co-ordinator with Native Counselling Services in Edmonton. “The stats show us that these programs are needed now more than ever.”

The most recent Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada showed that unemployment among aboriginal people continues to rise. Aboriginal unemployment (both men and women, off-reserve aboriginal people) rose to 17% in early 2010, up from 14% in 2009. Youth unemployment remains stubbornly high at 12.6%, up from 11.4% just a year ago.

At the same time, a recent Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) analysis shows that the Alberta dramatically cut employment training programs by $23 million for 2010. The province's unemployment rate hit a 14-year high in March 2010, reaching 7.5% for the first time since 1996.

Youth and summer employment programs saw 25% of their budget disappear between 2009 and 2010, while upgrading and skills development was cut by 16%. Aboriginal skills development experienced a 7% reduction. A further $10 million will be chopped from career development and programs that partner with industry.

Most other jurisdictions in the Group of 20 (G-20) industrialized nations continue to increase employment and training program budgets.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE