Kirby questions status of employment services
NDP Advanced Education and Skills Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) wants answers from government on the future of Employment Assistance Service providers in the province.
Upwards of 70 not-for-profit and community agencies in Newfoundland and Labrador have contracts with the department to provide people looking for work with employment assistance services such as job placement services and career advice as well as help with resume writing and job search techniques.
Contracts with these agencies are set to expire on March 31; Kirby has written to AES Minister Joan Shea to ask what the department’s plans are.
“In the event that Department of Advanced Education and Skills opts to cut funding to these community agencies, they will undoubtedly be forced to curtail the employment programs and services they currently provide, and possibly lay off some of their employees,” Kirby says in his letter.
“It is equally troubling that there was minimal consultation with these community agencies during the now concluded Advanced Education and Skills departmental review carried out by John Noseworthy.”
The NDP MHA says the services offered through the community service providers are not readily available elsewhere to people in the province, particularly in smaller, rural communities.
“In the event that government chooses not to continue these EAS contracts, people across Newfoundland and Labrador, especially in rural communities, need reassurance that the services will continue in some form,” Kirby said.
“These services must continue to be delivered, and the minister should let people know how that will be done.”