Ms McPherson: Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, I request leave to introduce a bill being the Strategies for Unemployed and Underemployed Albertans Act.

Even though the economy is showing signs of recovery, many Albertans haven’t found work since losing their job, or they haven’t been able to find suitable work. Bill 209, the Strategies for Unemployed and Underemployed Albertans Act, will provide them with a framework to find jobs.

I’ve spoken to many unemployed Albertans looking to get back on their feet. They’re frustrated by a lack of useful supports that recognize their employment situations. That includes many young men entering the workforce and experienced career professionals who’ve been out of work for years. I’ve spoken to employment-training providers who want to work with employers to retrain and upskill employees to meet the challenges of a modern economy but have experienced resistance when proposing their plans. I’ve spoken to economists who see opportunities for Alberta workers that aren’t being developed. I’ve spoken to employers who are frustrated that they can’t find qualified workers in Alberta.

This bill will enable stakeholders to pool their knowledge and insights in a quick and responsive manner to help address Albertans’ employment needs with alacrity. I look forward to debating this bill with my colleagues in the House, and I thank you for the opportunity.

[Motion carried; Bill 209 read a first time]



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