Morneau drops more hints on skills-training plans in the 2019 federal budget

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau is suggesting that next week’s federal budget will include measures to help Canadians cover their bills if they choose to head back to school to boost their skills or change careers.

During a morning event in Toronto, Morneau told a group of children that the Liberal government is looking at ways to help people prepare for their next jobs.

Among the ideas Morneau is putting out today are an avenue for people to have dedicated time off for skills training and ways to cover their expenses while they’re out of the workforce.

Top government officials have been working behind the scenes for years on ways to help Canadians prepare for shifts in the economy, marked by fewer permanent careers and more short-term jobs, a hallmark of the “gig” economy.

The Liberals have been clear that Tuesday’s federal budget — the last before the country is plunged into an election campaign — will focus on helping people improve their skills in the face of a shifting labour market.

At the start of the event, Morneau put on the shoes he will wear for next week’s budget day, which are the same ones he wore in 2016 with some repair work from an all-female-owned shop in Toronto’s Kensington Market district.

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