Evidence of meeting #76 for Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was program.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

David Burns  Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Dan Tadic  Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association
Barb Broome  Executive Director, East Prince Youth Development Centre Inc.
Justin Johnson  Chair, Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française
Elise Violletti  Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec
Rudy Humbert  Advisor, Entrepreneurship, voluntary work and voluntary action, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Be very brief, please.

5 p.m.

Chair, Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française

Justin Johnson

The federal government established the young Canada works program as part of the youth employment strategy. The program objectives specifically target official language communities. Young Canada works is the component that helps young people pursue careers in French and English. These programs exist already, but we just need to invest more in these programs so that young people are hired.

5 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Thank you.

5 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you very much.

Now we go over to MP Sansoucy for three minutes.

5 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

There was a lot of discussion earlier about experiential learning projects put in place by youth employment centres during their 20 years of experience or expertise. Have you evaluated this approach? Have researchers looked into this? If so, could we have the findings from that evaluation?

5:05 p.m.

Advisor, Special Projects, Personal and Professional Autonomy, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Elise Violletti

Thank you for your question.

The overall approach of youth employment centres is an ecosystemic approach, which has already been analyzed. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated many times.

The experiential learning used at youth employment centres enables young people to develop their skills and feelings. This is demonstrated by their initiative, their involvement in their community and, above all, their sustainable entry into employment. Research on the various approaches also applies to youth employment centres, since the achievements necessarily stem from existing approaches, which have been repeatedly tested. The measures are based on such approaches and on intervention expertise.

5:05 p.m.

Advisor, Entrepreneurship, voluntary work and voluntary action, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Rudy Humbert

If I may, I will round out my colleague's remarks.

More specifically, there is a lot of support beforehand for projects that include an international mobility component—this is the experiential approach. However, the results show that upon their return, nearly 90% of the young participants return to school or work. In terms of experiential approach, the international component is one of the most transformative levers we have.

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Well, the results speak for themselves.

We talked about the skills link program earlier. Some great projects have been developed in my riding because of this program. One of the two youth employment centres is currently impatiently awaiting a response, but there are many more applications than funds available. This program has definitely proven its worth. The other youth employment centre hasn't even applied. These people told me that the process is complicated. Still, they had good experiences in the past.

Listening to your comments, I realize how important it is to take a cross-cutting approach. Last year, this committee conducted a study on poverty. A strategy to fight poverty is being developed, and since there are truly cross-cutting issues, it would be important to link these strategies.

One of the topics of our committee's study is youth underemployment. Some of them hold jobs that are not consistent with their education, skills or experience. Others work part time while they'd like to work full time.

What do you think are the causes of youth underemployment? What is the best way to address it?

5:05 p.m.

Advisor, Entrepreneurship, voluntary work and voluntary action, Réseau des carrefours jeunesse-emploi du Québec

Rudy Humbert

This is a problem that we see quite regularly at the youth employment centres. In general, precariousness in employment is growing. As our colleagues have mentioned, young people are often the first to be affected. There is a mismatch between the degrees they hold and the available jobs to which they have access. The reconciliation of work, education, family, commitment and the need, in some cases, to multiply small jobs to earn a living wage is also a problem. We are looking at it. We link this to society as a whole and to the general precariousness of the labour market to which young people are most likely to be exposed.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you.

Sorry. We will have a chance to come back. That brings us to the end of the second round of questions, but since we have about 20 minutes or so left, we can continue with a third round. I know we have a few on our side, and Mr. Warawa would like to speak as well, so we'll just keep going as the clock allows.

First up would be, in fact, Mr. Warawa.

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Thank you.

Chair, I want to ask some questions about Kwantlen Polytechnic and the Lord Tweedsmuir program.

Has Kwantlen been working with or touched base with the secondary school just up the street?

David, I think you mentioned you were working with the secondary schools in Surrey. Is Lord Tweedsmuir one of those?

5:10 p.m.

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. David Burns

Right now the sample is blind, as I said, up until just this morning, when the paperwork in Surrey was finished. Through the superintendent, Jordan Tinney, and Antonio Vendramin, who's a district principal for communicating student learning, I'm working with the individual schools. Between now and January, we will actually be doing site visits. I believe Tweedsmuir is one of the schools we will be going to, but I'm not certain of it yet because the students themselves haven't been named until today.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Okay. Thank you.

Part of the equation is going to be where the future jobs are going to be with artificial intelligence. Where jobs will be in the future, in short order, could actually change dramatically with artificial intelligence.

Is that part of the equation, where the jobs will be over the next five, 10, or 20 years?

5:10 p.m.

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. David Burns

The recent history of educational policy in Canada tells us we're not very good at predicting that. We've gone through at least three waves of attempting to ascertain what the labour market will look like in 10 years, and in each of those cases, we have been largely mistaken.

When I was young, everyone was going to be a computer programmer. Then a good set of software tools, the Microsoft Suite and so forth, was developed, and all of a sudden we didn't need those programmers because we had good programs. Then we moved into apps, and you're starting to see kids today learning how to do Swift development on Apple technologies and so forth. We didn't see any of that coming, at least from the educational perspective.

I'm interested in the students' flexibility in their learning, and their ability to articulate and apply that learning to unexpected contexts, because in a certain sense, any prediction about where artificial intelligence will lead us is going to be quite fraught. As an educator, I need to make sure my students are ready for things I do not see coming, and that's very much part of what we're trying to do.

We have a program we're bringing forward right now on some of the new forms of advanced manufacturing and machine maintenance that we require in the new economy, but even that has to be very flexible, because that area is changing much more quickly than public systems can adapt.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Can I give you one final plug on taking care of the aging population? Seventy per cent of Canadians who have a need of palliative, end-of-life care do not have access to it. In your area, of course, the senior population is much higher because of the climate. In the Surrey area, you would probably find that closer to 80% of Canadians who need palliative care do not have access to it.

There's a massive need and a huge opportunity. Actually, it's the right thing to do, so I am hopeful that Kwantlen and other universities will take a serious look at providing that as part of their curriculum.

5:10 p.m.

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. David Burns

Given our links to health care in the community right now, I think we're a natural place to start, and I will make that conversation start immediately.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Thank you, David.

Getting back to the Canadian Welding Association, Dan, you mentioned that there is a skills shortage, and welding is a great opportunity for young people to look at.

In your presentation, you mentioned a pipeline. Canada has changed course. Depending on what government we see in Canada—be it federal, provincial, or even municipal—some governments support pipelines as the safest way of moving natural resources, and some don't.

Under the current government, there's not an appetite for pipelines. Does that affect potential jobs and the training that the—

I'm being heckled a little bit, Mr. Chair.

Is that possibly going to have an effect on planning for training in welding, or will there be a continued and unrestricted need for welding?

5:10 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

Canada has in the range of 200,000 welders. Out of those 200,000, about 1,700 work in the pipelines. When we look at the overall number, it's relatively small in comparison to the size of the entire industry.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Regarding the question I had about poaching, are they pulling these welders out of Canada or is it by industries within Canada?

5:10 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

It's by industries within Canada. If I'm an employer with a job that has a timeline in terms of the delivery of that project, and I'm stuck in a situation where I must get this thing out on time or I'm going to pay penalties, my option is to offer bigger incentives and higher wages to get some of those skilled tradesmen from other companies and in order to get that project out the door and shipped on time.

It is an issue, and it's an issue that we need to address. The only way we're going to do that is by encouraging more employers to take on apprentices. That's why we are travelling the country right now and going face to face in conversation with employers to try to encourage them. I can tell you that we have been very successful so far in signing agreements with a number of employers in the Hamilton area, where we are setting up this first industry consortium.

The majority of these companies have never hired apprentices in the past, so the conversations we are having with employers today are very effective. We're changing the minds and hearts of the employers in terms of apprenticeship training, and we're seeing that change. We're seeing companies actually getting excited about apprenticeship training.

We believe very firmly in this model. We believe that it will be successful. We believe that the industry needs a seismic shift in the approach to apprenticeship training. Just keep in mind that the current model has been in place for centuries and that companies hire an apprentice and train them to the best of their abilities with the resources they have. However, allowing apprentices to rotate between a number of employers will enhance learning. It will enhance their confidence, and that is linked to the quality, productivity, and profitability of our industry.

If you have a highly skilled labour force, that will also lead to innovation and creativity, and we need to make those investments. We need to make sure that there is an opportunity for that skills development.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you, Mr. Tadic.

5:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Canadian Welding Association

Dan Tadic

As an organization, we are working very hard to get this done as quickly as possible.

December 5th, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bryan May

Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate it.

Mr. Sangha, go ahead, please.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair. My question will be for Barb Broome.

We have seen that there is new funding under the youth employment strategy, YES, and that there are many complementary programs under YES, such as SWE, the summer work experience program, Skills Link, which Mr. Blaney has talked about, and the career focus program. Do you know about these three programs?

5:15 p.m.

Executive Director, East Prince Youth Development Centre Inc.

Barb Broome

I know about these programs, and they work very well for 29% of our clients.