SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government is changing the way employment programs are offered to better meet the needs of employers, job seekers and communities.

To help increase awareness and better promote the reformatted services, the department’s 19 regional employment development offices will now be referred to as WorkingNB offices.

“Our current employment programs are based on a time when there were more people than there were jobs,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We now have more jobs than people to fill them so we need to change the way we do business.

“Instead of having programs and services that are rigid we will deliver programs that are driven by the needs of the employers and individuals and are focused on getting results for New Brunswickers,” he said.

The department will introduce Workplace Connections, which will repurpose existing wage subsidy programs, and their budgets, and invest in services that are focused on outcomes. Workplace Connections will be customized to the needs of the users rather than being criteria-based like previous models.

Job seekers and those looking for training and career opportunities will continue to work with employment counsellors to identify their career goals and needs, and services or training will be offered to help them achieve these goals. Investments will remain available to connect job seekers to the labour market through experiential learning opportunities.

Employers will work directly with workforce consultants who will help determine their labour force and human resources needs, including recruitment, retention, and training.

As a result of the changes to the employment programs, applications for the One-Job Pledge and Workforce Expansion Program will not be required or accepted after Nov. 29, and applications for the Youth Employment Fund will not be necessary after Mar. 31, 2020. Those currently enrolled in these programs will not be affected. After these dates, anyone needing employment support will not have to apply to these programs, but instead can visit one of the 19 WorkingNB offices for personalized support.

“Addressing the 120,000 jobs that will become available in New Brunswick over the next 10 years will require us all to think outside the box and change the way we deliver services,” said Holder. “If we are going to have an energized private sector, the government also needs to step out of its comfort zone and start delivering services differently to meet our future labour market needs.”

Energizing the private sector is one of the government’s key priorities. More information about the government’s priorities and measurements is available online.