About Us ~ History
Labour Force Development in Canada
- The Federal government launched the Labour Force Development Strategy (LFDS) in 1989, a comprehensive, long-range plan for building a strong, highly skilled and internationally competitive work force.
- The strategy emphasized that the private sector must be prepared to put more time, effort and resources into developing a skilled, competitive work force. It also stated that Governments must be prepared to work more closely with the private sector – giving business, labour, and social action groups a more direct say in how federal and provincial resources are used to address labour market problems.
The Local Board Initiative in Ontario
- Concern about training and adjustment programs in Ontario surfaced in the late 1980s. Programs were not always accessible to those they were intended to help. Questions were raised about whether the skills taught were even relevant to the changing job market.
- Both Canada and Ontario consulted with the labour market partners about the state of labour market programs. The feedback was clear
- the system needed to be changed dramatically. Creating an efficient, effective, and equitable system required the direct input of those involved in the labour market – the labour market partners.
- The governments needed to develop a structure that would be the voice for the labour market partners. Hence, Local Boards were formed to be the voice of communities and their constituencies to government. They would facilitate labour market development at the community level.
- The Durham Workforce Authority (aka Durham Region Local Training Board) was incorporated in 1997 as one of twenty five Local Boards in Ontario.