St.FX to lead Centre for Innovation

The Nova Scotia government is partnering with St. Francis Xavier University to create a new Centre for Employment Innovation.

The centre is a key part of the province’s redesigned employment services system, Nova Scotia Works, which was launched last week.
“The employment services transformation is about providing consistent, quality employment services across the province to all Nova Scotians,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan, who was on the St.FX campus Sept. 16 to make the announcement. “This centre is the cornerstone of the redesign, and will help build on our existing knowledge and expertise.”
St. Francis Xavier University’s Centre for Employment Innovation will act as the provincial hub for research and innovation in employment services delivery. Since the new system has more front-line workers to support Nova Scotia’s workforce, it will be important that the centre work with them, as well as with communities, to develop and test new approaches for inclusive, best-in-class employment services to help people get jobs.
“St.FX is pleased to house the new Centre for Employment Innovation,” said St.FX President Dr. Kent MacDonald. “Our campus is a great place to bring people and knowledge together to strengthen people’s skill sets and enhance our region’s workforce. St.FX has a deep commitment to enhancing the economic prosperity of this region and we are pleased to have such a willing partner in the Nova Scotia government.”
The St.FX Extension Department will be working with the new centre in enhancing opportunities for students and the surrounding community.
The Centre for Employment Innovation will receive $2.1 million dollars over three years through the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement. It is expected to open this fall.
“To grow the middle class and strengthen our economy, we need to help Canadians get the right skills to get good quality jobs,” said Mary-Ann Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “Through our partnership with Nova Scotia, the Centre for Employment Innovation will allow Nova Scotians to benefit from the best research and training to develop the skills that employers need.”
Government began working with service providers in November to redesign the $23-million employment services system. The redesign includes hiring more front-line workers, adopting an inclusive and consistent suite of services for youth, businesses and workers, and promoting service excellence.