Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks on investing in skills and training
Good morning everyone. It’s always a pleasure to be back here in Niagara, especially on a perfect summer day like this. I want to thank Dr. Patterson as well as the students and staff of Niagara College for welcoming us. I’d also like to thank my colleague and friend Chris Bittle, MP, who is here with us today.
We just wrapped up a tour of the facilities and I have to say I’m really envious that this is work for you. Who wouldn’t want their daily commute to include a vineyard like this?
Now as a teacher and a prime minister, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in schools. I’ve had the chance to visit many institutions across the country, and I’m always impressed by the colleges and universities’ innovative spirit. Students today have many more degrees, diplomas, and certificates to choose from than we did when we were students. Our post-secondary institutions were able to adapt to the realities of the new economy and adjust the curriculums to meet the demands of a world that is rapidly changing. We can’t forget that not everyone is benefitting from those incredible programs, that not everyone has the opportunity to get the training they want in the field they love. Our government aims to change that.
Across the country, we’re making smart, targeted investments in skills training so that more Canadians can attend institutions like Niagara College and attain and acquire the skills they need to succeed. We heard from students who had to choose between getting an education and making rent, and we also heard from parents who feared they didn’t have the right skills to get a good middle class job in the new economy.
Our government wants to help Canadians improve their quality of life—for them and their families—and we know that begins with education. Since the start of our mandate, we have been taking meaningful action to lower the cost of studying, to provide better support for adults in the labour force who are considering going back to school and to create new learning opportunities for everyone. We began by improving the Canada Student Loans Program so that post-secondary education would be more affordable for low- and middle-income students. We have also doubled the number of jobs offered through the Canada Summer Jobs Program so that young Canadians can find work, the kind of work they need so they can gain work experience and save for their future. And we’ve gone even further with our most recent budget.
We’re making it easier for folks already in the workforce to access Canada student grants and loans so they can continue to provide for their families while upgrading their skills. And for those who are out of work, we made changes to the employment insurance program. Now parents can go back to school without fear of losing the EI benefits they need to put food on the table.
We know that by investing in skills and training, we’re investing in Canadians and in their potential. We’re helping students, parents, and even grandparents find and retain good, well-paying jobs in a field of their liking, jobs that will put more money in their pockets so they can save, invest, and grow the economy.