The provincial and federal governments are investing nearly $500 million over the next six years to bring more jobs and skills training to Saskatchewan’s labour force.

The federal government says the funding will help improve apprenticeship training, employment assistance for people with disabilities, adult basic education, employer-sponsored training and more. The government hopes the money will help people usually under-represented in the workforce, including people with disabilities, visible minorities, women and Indigenous peoples.

"I know that our greatest asset as a country is our people,” Regina-Wascana MP Ralph Goodale said in a written release. “Through investments like today's agreements with Saskatchewan, we're ensuring Canadian workers continue to be resilient and responsive as jobs evolve and as our economy grows. When we give people the tools to succeed, our middle class grows stronger and our workers and their families thrive."

The new announcement increases funding by $70 million. The government says the increase will represent benefits for 16,000 more workers.

According to the government, the funds will focus on an “innovation-driven” economy, giving people skills for jobs around now and in the future.

“Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow and our economy is diversifying,” Saskatchewan Minister of Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison said. “Future growth hinges on our province’s ability to better match workers to jobs, training to the needs of employers and employees, and build skills in our resilient workforce.”

Ottawa says it plans to measure how programs created through this funding increase people’s earnings, help them find lasting jobs and break down barriers for under-represented groups.