Employers encouraged to apply for grant covering 25 per cent of salaries, training costs for 52 weeks
Alberta is investing up to $370 million to help employers create job opportunities for unemployed and underemployed people across the province.
The funding will get “tens of thousands of Albertans back to work” and “help create good jobs working with employers to hire and train new employees,” says Premier Jason Kennney.
“This is the single biggest employment training program in Alberta’s history.”
Half ($185 million) of the funding for the Jobs Now program is available through federal transfers through the Workforce Development Agreement and the other $185 million is available through provincial funds.
25 per cent of salary
Under the funding, employers can apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period, up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. They can apply for funding for up to 20 new employees. The grant can be used to cover salary or training costs.
“The employer will need to commit to job creation for at least one year to collect the grant funding,” says Jason Copping, minister of labour and immigration, adding the first payment will be provided at week 12 of employment, and the final one at week 52.
“I encourage employers to start thinking about here you may be able to create long-term jobs and grow your business and Alberta’s economy.”
To be eligible, private sector business or non-profit organizations must use the funding to hire unemployed Albertans in a new or vacant position. The new hire must reside and work in Alberta and not have worked for the employer within the past 90 days.
“Oddly, even though we have far too many unemployed Albertans, a growing number of businesses reporting skill and labour shortages, we have to bridge that gap ─ that’s what this program is about,” says Kenney.
Also, employers that hire persons with disabilities will receive a grant 1.5 times higher than the amount they receive for other new employees, up to a maximum of $37,500 per employee, according to the government.
Employers can apply for the program until Aug. 31, 2021. A second intake will open on Sept. 15 and close on Dec. 31.
But if the program is successful, the government is prepared to extend the program into 2022 “to ensure that our economic recovery moves forward,” says Kenney.
In April, Alberta’s employment numbers slightly dropped to 2,222,700 from 2,235,300 in March, according to Statistics Canada (StatCan).