NL Workforce Innovation Centre rolling out Regional Workforce Development Committees across the Province

CORNER BROOK, NL (November 23, 2021) – The NL Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) has kicked off a series of regional workforce development meetings over the last several weeks focused on the creation and retention of a diverse, inclusive, innovative and productive workforce.

Ten Regional Workforce Development Committees (RWDCs) are in the process of being implemented. The objective of these committees is to develop regionally tailored workforce development work plans, supporting a healthy and productive labour market now and into the future. 

In November 2019, the provincial government released The Way Forward on Workforce Development, which included four new activities mandated to NLWIC. One of the activities was to establish these committees in collaboration with the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills (IPGS).

These committees, comprising provincial and federal government departments and College of the North Atlantic, will serve as ongoing planning platforms for localized labour market activities and initiatives. These groups are charged with developing and implementing regionally-tailored workforce development actions plans – specifically: 1) developing and disseminating labour market information; 2) identifying priority focus areas for training and development; and, 3) collaboratively using labour market programs and services, including immigration-related supports.

According to Sharon McLennon, NLWIC Director, “These Regional Workforce Development Committees will be integral to working within their regions to create and retain a diverse and inclusive, innovative, and productive workforce. The work will assist with economic recovery in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the health, well-being and economic prosperity of all of our regions, its people, and the province overall.  The RWDCs will work collaboratively through their continuous action planning and doing to connect these dots.”

As part of the process, NLWIC will invite local, regional and provincial stakeholders identified by the regional committees to address priority issues with practical ‘made-for-Newfoundland and Labrador’ solutions. Employers, sector associations and organizations representing job seekers and underrepresented groups will be asked to identify their workforce development needs, as well as how to best collaborate to support these needs.

A concurrent research project funded by the Future Skills Centre will test and evaluate the design, setup and operations of the RWDCs as a new model of workforce development in NL during this first rollout. The evidence stemming from these sessions will be shared in a roadmap or “playbook” with NLWIC, IPGS and other stakeholders in Canada and beyond to inform the future operations of the committees.

Further information is available in the below Backgrounder.

People sit around a table discussing business. A glowing light bulb as a new idea.

-30 –

About NLWIC

The NL Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) was established by the provincial government in 2017 and is administered by College of the North Atlantic (CNA) with a provincial mandate to provide a centralized point of access to bring all of the province’s labour market stakeholders together to share workforce development challenges, opportunities and best practices.  NLWIC’s goal is to promote the research, testing and sharing of ideas and models of innovation in workforce development that will positively impact employability, employment and entrepreneurship within the province’s workforce and particularly underrepresented groups. Funding is provided by the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills (IPGS) under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.

For further information, contact:
Sara Power
Media/Information Officer, NLWIC
709.637.8662
sara.power@nlwic.ca

Backgrounder – Regional Workforce Development Committees

  • The Workforce Development Plan, released in November 2019, includes a commitment to develop regionally tailored workforce development action plans, which will include:
    • Developing and disseminating local labour market information;
    • Identifying priority focus areas for training and skills development regionally; and,
    • Collaborating on the use of labour market programs and services, including immigration-related supports.
  • Committees will be established in 10 regions of the province to support the development of these action plans. The intent is to create a formalized structure at the regional level for stakeholders to meet regularly to discuss, diagnose and mutually plan for workforce development issues broadly within a region. This will include collaboration on regionally tailored labour market responses to existing and emerging workforce trends and challenges, and increasing regional capacity for planning, partnerships, and investments.
  • Key government partners committed to standing committee member participation include:
    • Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills – Labour Market Development Officers
    • Department of Industry, Energy and Technology – Economic Development Officers
    • Department of Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture – Industry Development Officers
    • College of the North Atlantic – Business Development Officers
    • Service Canada – local representatives
    • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – local representatives.
  • Depending on the items identified for discussion, other relevant stakeholders may be invited to participate in committee meetings, such as: training providers; municipalities; Community Business Development Corporations; chambers of commerce; sector and industry representatives; strategic employers; and Indigenous governments, where applicable.
  • Regional Workforce Development Committees are being established in the following regions:
    • Labrador
    • St. Anthony – Port au Choix
    • Corner Brook – Rocky Harbour
    • Stephenville – Port aux Basques
    • Grand Falls-Windsor – Baie Verte – Harbour Breton
    • Gander – New-Wes-Valley
    • Clarenville – Bonavista
    • Burin Peninsula
    • Northeast Avalon
    • Avalon (excluding Northeast).
  • In addition, NLWIC, in collaboration with IPGS, has entered into a project in partnership with Future Skills Centre, under their Strategic Initiatives Fund, to use the development and implementation of regional workforce development committees in NL as a real-time case study of regional workforce development collaborations. The objective of the project is to develop a roadmap or “playbook” that could be used as a resource for other stakeholders across Canada.  Future Skills Centre will provide approximately $370,000 to support this work.