More opportunities to grow Alberta’s workforce

The second intake period for the Alberta Jobs Now program is now open.

Beginning Nov. 10, Alberta based, private sector businesses and non-profit organizations can apply for funding to reduce the costs of hiring and training employees. There is also additional funding available for hiring persons with disabilities.

Over the next two years, the Alberta Jobs Now program is investing up to $370 million to help private sector businesses and non-profit organizations hire and train unemployed Albertans.

$185 million in funding is available through federal transfers from the Government of Canada through the Workforce Development Agreement and $185 million is available through provincial funds.

“Alberta’s government is making sure the success of the first application intake period continues. We listened to feedback from Alberta employers to make the program more effective and inclusive to help as many hard-working Albertans get back to work as possible,” says Tyler Shandro, Minister of Labour and Immigration.

The second intake of the Alberta Jobs Now program includes changes designed to help employers meet their labour needs and provide more Albertans with the skills they need to land successful careers.

The Government of Alberta says that these changes will help more Albertans get back to work and support stronger economic recovery throughout the province.

“The Alberta Jobs Now program is helping more than 14,000 Albertans get back to work and now we’re improving it so even more people can benefit. Alberta’s Recovery Plan continues to breathe new life into our economy and provide new opportunities for all Albertans,” says Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta.

Some of the changes made to the program include:Opening the program to Alberta businesses and non-profits that have been incorporated or registered for less than a year.

Reducing the minimum number of hours employees must work under the program from 30 to 15 hours per week.

While the focus is on hiring unemployed and underemployed Albertans, employers may fill available positions with employed Albertans if there is a business need.

Reducing the number of positions that employers can apply for per intake period from 20 to 10.

Reducing the amount of time employers have to fill positions from 120 to 90 days after receiving application approval.

Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director with Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that with only 43 per cent of Alberta small businesses at normal staffing levels, more support is needed to help with hiring and economic recovery.

“These changes to the Jobs Now program reflect the challenges small businesses are facing and will allow more small businesses to use the program as they begin to return to normal staffing levels.”