Federal–provincial project helps unemployed older workers in Red Deer

January 17, 2012
Red Deer, Alberta — Unemployed older workers in Red Deer are set to benefit from a project funded jointly by the Governments of Canada and Alberta. The project will help 15 unemployed older Aboriginal workers improve their skills and re-enter the workforce.

Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and Alberta Minister of Human Services, Dave Hancock, today announced an investment of $175,000 in funding for the Programming for Older Workers project under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. This project will help 15 unemployed older Aboriginal workers, aged 55 to 64 years, develop their employability skills, participate in work placements and prepare for long-term sustainable employment.

“Our top priority is jobs and the economy, and we are taking action to support Canadians,” said Mr. Dreeshen. “We are proud to partner with the Government of Alberta on this project and I am particularly proud that these new opportunities will be here for the great people of Red Deer. We commend all of the participants for their efforts and wish them every success.”

“All Albertans deserve an opportunity to participate in the province’s growth,” said Minister Hancock. “Engaging older workers is an important part of our Building and Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce strategy. Alberta continues to create new jobs and this funding will help us to keep delivering services though our Alberta Works Centres.”

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers is part of the Government of Canada’s broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. The Government highlighted its commitment to this strategy in Canada’s Economic Action Plan. To date, this program has helped more than 16 000 unemployed older workers retrain for new careers.

The Government of Alberta is dedicated to helping older workers remain in the workforce under its strategy, Building and Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce. The action plan, Engaging the Mature Worker: An Action Plan for Alberta, was released in April 2011 and supports this strategy.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
To learn more about Alberta’s workforce strategy, visit www.employment.alberta.ca.


The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that provides employment assistance services and employability improvement activities, such as skills upgrading and work experience, to assist unemployed older workers aged 55 to 64 years living in a city or town with a population of 250 000 or less that is experiencing high unemployment or significant downsizing or closures.

The Government of Canada launched the TIOW in 2006 with a $70-million commitment and invested another $90 million in 2008 to extend the initiative to March 31, 2012. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provided an additional $60 million nationally for this initiative over three years.

To further help unemployed older workers, in Budget 2011, the Government of Canada announced it is extending the TIOW, providing $50 million over the next two years until March 31, 2014.
To date, the TIOW has targeted over 16 000 unemployed older workers in Canada.