The Federal Government announced changes to the EI plan to help unemployed workers retrained to reenter the work force. The benefactors of the $500 million that was allocated in the budget are those who have been on a career track for a significant period of time which is now a deadend. Extra benefits including, extended time frame will be granted to those who enter the training program.
The best way to get the economy moving again is to get people back to work. Any moves that help make it easier for people to find jobs is a step in the direction. Those who are willing to put the time and effort to help themselves deserve the extra little boost to help make their career jump a reality.
The Liberals and NDP have focussed in on the minimum qualifications to receive EI benefits. Currently, the number of hours works varries from 420 - 910 depending on unemployment rates and other factors. They would like to have the number reduced to 360 hours.
360 hours for most full time jobs is 9 to 10 weeks. A standard probabtion period for a new job is 3 months. The idea that someone can qualify for a full year of EI benefits without even complting the probation period. This creates an oppurtunity for someone to bounce from job to job and collecting full government benefits. This is not the type of employee the government should be focusing on to get the economy back on it's feet.
There are still problems with the current EI system. A universal system of qualification would stream line the system and allow workers facing unemployment to easily figure out what they are entitled to as they adjust for the job search.
The government is demonstrating an effort to help people find employment. The opposition parties are focusing on the wrong areas to criticize the government. The workers that have been employed for a longer period of time are in more need of assistance. The EI system could still use major improvements. Attacking this plan for additional support to the unemployed as a means to force an election would be a mistake by the opposition parties.