Roach expects jobs grant answer within 14 days

Allen Roach says the federal government will decide on a counter proposal to the Canada Jobs Grant within two weeks.

The pitch is in and the waiting game is underway when it comes to federal job funding.

The alternative plan calls for a six month delay in the program and that it be phased in over a longer period of time. P.E.I.'s minister responsible for employment, Allen Roach, says according to federal Employment Minister Jason Kenny, Ottawa will respond to a counter proposal to the Canada Jobs Grant within 14 days.

Provinces receive $500 million a year in funding for labour development from Ottawa. Those labour market agreements are set to expire this year, being replaced by the Canada Jobs Grant.

The replacement Canada Jobs Grant would see the provinces lose $300 million of that money.

Roach says some Island employers will not be able to participate in the replacement program. (CBC)
"We have in line of about probably I'm going to say 15 or 20 organizations that may not qualify for training funds anymore," Roach said Wednesday morning. 

Roach says the funding would also be applied differently, cutting out some of the Island employers currently under labour market agreements.

The minister also wants the program to change so the $5,000 employers have to contribute for each employee participating in the program could be an in-kind contribution. Roach says smaller businesses, the majority of employers on P.E.I., won't be able to write that sort of cheque.

"We're concerned that they're not going to be able to come up with that kind of cash to start participating."