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Saskatchewan Election 2020: Employment and Training

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Many businesses are still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly all are adapting to new ways of doing business. This work means helping staff develop new skills or onboarding new staff with different training. 

It is also essential that businesses can afford to grow and hire more staff, while offering excellent on-the-job training opportunities for new and existing employees. 

For more information on CFIB’s research on improving training programs, read Hire Education: Connecting Youth and Small Businesses for the Jobs of Today.

For more information on how businesses are adapting their technology to help Saskatchewan’s economy recover, read CFIB’s Transformation of Canada’s Small Businesses Series Report #1: Connecting with Customers During the Pandemic.

Our recommendations for how the next provincial government can improve employment and training to better meet businesses’ needs, include: 

  • Encourage more soft skills and workplace literacy in high school curriculums to better prepare youth for the workplace. Work with local small businesses to identify what skills are relevant;
  • Provide more networking opportunities and access between local small businesses and students;
  • Better emphasize the importance and value of a career in the skilled trades so that a greater number of students consider it as a viable career option.
Business Adaptation:
  • Offer resources to help businesses & their staff adopt digital technologies (such as moving more sales online and/or improving social media presence). 
Interprovincial Labour Mobility:
  • Through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, recognize more trade and professional certification from other provinces, so dental hygienists and elevator technicians can work in different provinces without having to get re-certified. 
Low-income Earners:
  • Say “no” to a $15 minimum wage in Saskatchewan, but: 
    • Focus on better tools to help low-income earners such as increasing the BPE, introducing tax credits, improving training, etc.
    • Introduce income tax credit for low income workers (e.g. no PIT paid under $25,000 on a graduated basis);
    • Mitigate the impact of annually indexed minimum wage by introducing a special training wage (similar to NS & AB) or a gratuity wage for workers who earn tips.