Here are two quick thoughts. First of all, I think one disappointment in the budget when it comes to EI is that we haven't expanded investment in the training of unemployed workers through EI. The government did put in additional resources for that during the recession, but that's run its course.
Now's the time. The argument against spending that money in training is that the payoff hasn't been that big. But if we really believe there are go to be major and growing skill shortages in Canada, then putting that money into training now should have a much significantly bigger payoff than in the past.
I think what we need to look at is a targeted intervention. If so, I think it would be around giving young people work experience. So what I'd be looking at now would be summer job terms and placements—some sort of incentives to employers to create that experience for young people.
Part of the problem—though I shouldn't talk about it.... What we see in Quebec with the student protests is in part about the tuition fee, but it's also this view that a lot of young people are spending more and more time in the educational system, because I guess there aren't job opportunities there for them and they're not getting much work experience along the way. I think we really need to marry our educational system more closely with where the jobs are going to emerge and give people some experience in those areas.