May 15, 2012
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyAs your partners in prosperity, your Education and Labour Development team diligently works to provide training and professional development opportunities, as well as solutions and tools to help resolve your challenges with human resources.

We now have an HR Toolkit available with templates and samples for employers to adapt for their own business. We also do our best to communicate opportunities and updates on government programs, which is a result of the federal budget announcement late last month.

In case you missed previous announcements, LO is proud of our HR Toolkit that was made available to us last January, thanks to funding by Employment Ontario. The toolkit is intended to guide employers toward compliance awareness and best practices when managing your HR asset, your people. The toolkit provides the following:
  • Employers’ policy and procedure manual
  • Employee handbook template
  • Recruitment and selection resource
  • Retention guide

To browse the HR Toolkit, go to

Economic action plan

In addition, jobs growth and long term prosperity was a main focus of the federal budget delivered on Mar. 29. The Economic Action Plan 2012 announced measures aimed at strengthening support for small business and provides incentives for employment and skills training. It calls for an investment of $205 million to extend the temporary hiring credit for small business for one year, and provides an additional $50 million over two years to the Youth Employment Strategy to assist more young people to gain tangible skills and experience.

What does this mean to the landscape horticulture industry?

It means the hiring credit for small business will be available and continue to inspire small business to hire new workers with a maximum credit of up to $1,000 against a small employer’s increase in his or her 2012 EI premiums over 2011. For more information go to

A $50 million injection over two years will help more young people gain tangible skills and experience and connect young Canadians to jobs in fields that are in high demand. This is the case in our industry that is experiencing a serious skilled labour gap due to demographic changes in our population as identified in the Deloitte Report, The Impact of Ornamental Horticulture on Canada’s Economy. To download the summary and/or full report go to: For more information and how to apply for skills training programs, visit and follow the link to the Youth Employment Strategy.

Our apprentices, as participants in one of the designated Red Seal trades, can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools and other expenses. For more information and how to apply for the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, visit

I encourage us all to take advantage of as many of these programs provided by our tax dollars as possible to ensure our continued growth and prosperity. What have we got to lose? 
Contact Sally Harvey at