Budget focuses on employment

The federal government is focussing on providing more skilled workers to fill a growing number of job vacancies.

The federal government is focussing on providing more skilled workers to fill a growing number of job vacancies.

MP Dan Albas, speaking after the federal budget was presented on March 21, said the efforts to promote skilled trades are a result of an ongoing problem attracting workers.

“Far too many employers cannot get the skilled workers they need,” he said, “and there are a lot of students graduating with credentials they cannot use to find a job.”

The funding for the Canada Jobs program is an attempt to address the shortage.

Albas said a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses showed that of more than 218,000 members, more than one in three said a lack of skilled workers was a problem they face.

He added that skilled trades training can help those who want to work in the region.

“There are a lot of great jobs that pay well right here in the Okanagan,” he said. “We have so many labour shortages and that impedes business.”

In addition to the challenges in finding skilled labourers, Albas said the budget addresses infrastructure concerns through an indexed system of providing communities with gas tax funds.

The federal government is also working to lower overall spending.

“Lower spending with reduced operating expenses mean a lower debt to GDP ratio,” he said. The Gross Domestic Product is the value of all goods and services produced within a country. It is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living.

The debt to GDP ratio is used to determine the health of an economy.

“This is the right budget at the right time for Canadians,” Albas said of the 2013 federal budget.