Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Jan 14, 2020

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

While the time is always right to think about professional development and skills training, the new year marks a symbolic opportunity to make some career resolutions. Today’s evolving nature of work means that it’s likely workers will change jobs a few times over the course of their career, and emerging technologies in the workplace constantly require new skills and adaptability. With the federal government’s Canada Training Benefit (CTB) taking effect as of January 1, 2020, employers and workers across the country now have a flexible tool at their disposal when it comes to training and upskilling.

There are a few restrictions around accessing the CTB: workers must between the ages of 25 and 64 with incomes between $10,000 and $150,000. The CTB is a refundable tax credit of $250 per year — which accumulates if unused up to a lifetime maximum of $5,000 — and can be applied at any time to up to 50% of the cost of training programs or courses at colleges, universities or other eligible institutions. For example: a worker this year could undertake a $1000 training course and receive a $250 tax credit. In that same example, a worker could not use the CTB for 4 years, accumulate $1000 in tax credits, take the same $1000 training course, but only claim $500 as 50% of the training cost.

As we all know, training also requires time away from regular duties. To make this possible, workers completing training may also apply for up to four weeks of paid leave every four years at 55% of their average weekly earnings with the new Employment Insurance Training Support Benefit (EITSB). This benefit, slated to come into effect later in 2020, offers flexibility to access courses and training with the peace of mind of financial security. For example: once EITSB comes into effect, a worker could take three weeks off for training this year, one week off in 2022, and then have used up their allocated training time until 2024. Alternatively, a worker could take one week off a year, or all four weeks off in one year, et cetera.

While managing training leave might be more manageable for medium to large employers, this process can have a larger impact on small businesses. To compensate for this, the program also includes an EI premium rebate for small businesses, which aims to offset upward pressure on EI premiums as a result of the new benefit.

While the goal of the benefit is to address some of the barriers workers face in completing ongoing learning and retraining, employers will reap the benefits of skilled and capable employees. Workers able to adapt and upgrade their skills add value to the whole organization, and the benefit allows employees to be proactive about their career development. By aligning training opportunities jointly between employer and employee, career goals can align with business needs, while minimizing the disruption of time on leave.

As Canada’s labour market shifts owing to increases in automation and digital transformations, the types of jobs available and the skills and knowledge they require are changing as well. The responsibility for keeping up with current skills and practices rests with both the employer and the employee, and the CTB is a flexible tool aimed at helping both make the most of external training opportunities available.

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.


       Partnering For The Next Step                                                                     

Siemens CanadaWelcome to the Digital Enterprise Virtual Summit brought to you by Siemens

How quickly can you react to changing conditions and demands in your market? How can you ensure your production will run securely at any time in the future?

Industry’s digital and technological transformation is the answer for meeting today’s and tomorrow’s challenges and market needs.

With the right digitalization and automation solutions, expertise won from practical experience, and a partnership approach that benefits all involved parties.

To explore these possibilities, we’re bringing together top-level speakers, specialists and decision-makers from various industries and experts from Siemens to the Digital Enterprise Virtual Summit under the motto “Partnering for the next step.”   

This virtual summit will be an interactive digital event featuring first-hand experiences and success stories achieved with industrial digitalization and automation solutions, and cutting-edge technologies.

Join us on July 16 and learn from customers and experts how you can respond efficiently, flexibly and safely to the changing market environment.

To cover as many different time zones as possible, we offer two almost identical live sessions – you can also watch them on demand at your convenience:

Sessions runs from :  9:30 am to 2:15 pm ET (3:30 pm to 8:15 pm CEST)


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Changing Scene

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WestburneMany contractors prefer to deal with the people that they know, in their local branch. When doing a job out of town, it’s often inconvenient or simply impossible to return to your home branch to pick up material orders for the next day, within standard business hours.

Westburne’s new locker solution extends the branch’s pick up times to 24 hours, 7 days a week.

 

 

 


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EmployeesBy Terry Becker

All electrical incidents are preventable! Keep employees safe with an up-to-date electrical safety program and complimentary training.

“Employees don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect!” This is a great quote when it comes down to occupational health and safety. The need for ensuring that an audit is a key component of your overall occupational health and safety management system and your company’s electrical safety program is essential.

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Brady Pull-Handle Butterfly Valve LockoutThe Pull-handle Butterfly Valve Lockout. Its simple, fold-over design effectively lockspull handles in any desired position. And, it holds up to four padlocks for added safety. No matter what industry you’re in, this versatile, one-piece lockout device bolsters your safety lockout solution. And that’s a welcome addition to any lockout program. With this device you’ll also get:

  • A great fit – exclusive, anti-pivot lockout device that fits a variety of pull handle butterfly valve sizes

 

 

 

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Shannon TymoskoBy Blake Marchand

Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 105, something she undertook after 10 years working her way up the ranks of a payday loan company.

“One of the things I love, working in the trades, is you can see your progress and you can see at the end of the day the work that you have done.

 

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