Government of Canada COVID-19 measures delivering support for young people this fall
OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 11, 2020
OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 11, 2020 /CNW/ - The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on Canada's youth, with many seeing their summer jobs, internships and graduation plans disappear. To help our country's young people during this unprecedented time, the Government of Canada introduced a comprehensive emergency support package earlier this year. This includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), which has provided income support to close to 700,000 post-secondary students and recent graduates since its launch.
With the school year just getting started, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Catherine McKenna, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that Project Learning Tree Canada's Green Jobs Initiative will receive nearly $7.8 million under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).
This will provide green job opportunities to 1,200 youth across Canada who face barriers to employment, including Indigenous youth, newcomers and youth from rural or remote communities. Through this project, youth will benefit from a wide range of skills and gain hands on experience while working in the forestry, conservation and parks sectors.
Minister McKenna also took the opportunity to highlight the Government of Canada's fall support measures to help students through the upcoming school year. These include easing eligibility requirements for Canada Student Loans and Canada Student Grants to allow more post-secondary students to qualify and be eligible for greater amounts. Specifically, Canada Student Grants have been doubled for full-time students to up to $6,000 for this school year, and the cap on Canada Student Loans has been increased to $350 per week of study. These fall measures represent an investment of approximately $1.9 billion and are expected to expand the reach of the Canada Student Loans Program and benefit approximately 765,000 students.
These initiatives follow the Government of Canada's recently introduced COVID-19 measures on supports for young Canadians and students affected by the pandemic, including:
Increased funding of up to $187.7 million to the YESS program to create 9,500 more work opportunities for young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment. YESS projects managed by ESDC received up to $40 million for national projects that are providing flexible supports and targeted job opportunities for up to 4,700 youth aged 15-30, in the areas of social support services, transport, information technology, research and administration, and other placements that support community needs.
Additional funding of $61.7 million to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program to help expand the current work placement target from 70,000 to 80,000, creating 10,000 more placements for young people aged 15 to 30. To date, over 84,500 jobs have been approved, with approximately 9,700 opportunities currently available at www.jobbank.ca.
Increased funding of $266.1 million to the Student Work Placement (SWP) Program to support up to 40,000 work placements for post-secondary students in vital sectors such as healthcare.
A six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans (CSLP), effective until September 30, 2020, that is providing relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers currently in repayment.
Taken together, these measures are not only helping to ensure students get the financial support they need now, but that they continue to have access to the tools and opportunities that will help them build successful careers in the future as we begin our economic recovery.
"Today's youth are passionate, engaged and ready to make a difference in their communities. This is why the Government of Canada is providing job opportunities for Canadian youth facing barriers to gain skills and work on projects that not only give them experience they can build on, but will help make our city cleaner and greener, while paving the way for future generations of students."
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"The uncertainty many young Canadians have felt over the past few months can be overwhelming. But in Canada, we look out for each other. We value education and hard work. The set of comprehensive measures we put in place over the last few months are helping students get through these difficult times, so they can build their career and the future they've been working for. We are steadfast in our commitment to build on the measures we have put in place to help students during the pandemic and will continue supporting them in the upcoming school year."
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
"Over the last few months, young people from coast to coast to coast have experienced unique challenges brought on by the pandemic. During these unprecedented times, they continue to inspire us through their leadership in their communities and across Canada. Our government will continue to do everything we can to support young people, especially as many of them return to their studies. The series of measures highlighted today will provide students and youth with the financial supports they need right now and for their futures."
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
"We are very excited about this opportunity to continue helping diverse Canadian youth find green jobs in the forest and conservation sectors, particularly those facing systemic barriers. Project Learning Tree Canada is committed to using the outdoors to engage youth in learning about the world around them and advancing environmental literacy, stewardship and career pathways using trees and forests as windows on the world. Young people are our future. We are pleased we can help them get a head start on building their careers in the innovative and sustainable forest and conservation sectors."
- Kathy Abusow, CEO, Project Learning Tree Canada
The Government of Canada is investing up to $225 million for more than 110 Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) projects across Ontario to ensure that young people have access to supports and job experiences they need right now, and for their future careers.
With the recent COVID-19 investments of $187.7 million to the YESS program, the Government of Canada will be supporting an additional 9,500 YESS work opportunities for youth across Canada.
The YESS is a horizontal Government of Canada initiative delivered in collaboration with 11 federal departments and agencies.
In addition to the investment of $61.7 million made to the Canada Summer Jobs program, temporary flexibilities were announced to increase the wage subsidy, expand eligibility, create more job placements and offer to employers in 2020-21 opportunities created through to February 2021.
The Student Work Placement Program's funding was increased by $266.1 million; other changes to the program include an increase of the wage subsidy to cover up to 75% of the cost of wages across all placements.
The final eligibility period for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit is August 2 to 29; however, students will be able to apply retroactively until September 30.
Over $2.8 billion was invested in the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which has provided close to 700,000 post-secondary students and recent graduates with $1,250 per month in financial relief this summer ($2,000 for students with disabilities and dependents).
The Government of Canada's recent COVID-19 measures for youth and students play an important role in supporting Canada's economic recovery and future growth, providing young Canadians with the supports they need to stay in school and gain meaningful work experience for their long-term goals. That is why we are taking strong actions to ensure that young people and students continue to benefit from our programming. An additional breakdown on how Canada's youth and students are already benefiting from these programs is featured below.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS)
The YESS is a horizontal Government of Canada initiative delivered in collaboration with 11 federal departments and agencies, including Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Through the YESS, the Government of Canada helps young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. Nine of the 11 federal departments and agencies that deliver YESS programs are providing opportunities and supports, such as mentorship, access to computers, and access to mental health supports, all aimed at helping youth facing barriers to the labour market.
In the current COVID-19 context, projects delivered by ESDC's YESS program will focus on sectors that need an extra hand right now, as well as on sectors that support the delivery of essential services across Canada.
Title and Description
Title: PLT Canada's Green Jobs Initiative (COVID-funded)
Description: Provide green job opportunities for youth and underrepresented youth facing employment barriers to employment through skills development in the forest, conservation and parks sectors and to help foster interest and further education opportunities.
Title: Acuta@Home: A COVID-relief program in support of student jobs and vulnerable youth
Description: Create a new for-credit internship program and a new for-credit leadership summit for Indigenous youth. Youth and underrepresented youth will be provided with valuable skills-building opportunities via remote learning as well as relevant and meaningful work experience via subsidized employment.
Title: COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative
Description: Algonquin College will provide a minimum of 200 Indigenous youth with training and development programs such as an accelerate Health Care Aide program and training in Pandemic Safety in the workplace (both integrated into a work skills series initiative).
Title: At Work National Youth Service COVID Response
Description: Assist youth who are homeless and/or living with mental illness to learn soft skills and leadership training through a series of workshops. Work placements will help bolster these skills with case management operations.
Title: Launch Atlantic
Description: Enable young women to move from poverty and/or income assistance to economic independence through individualized support, career and personal development, work experience, and mentorship opportunities. Youth will have the required support to develop the nine essential employment skills, as well as soft skills development through community workshops and certification training.
Title: Essential Youth
Description: Essential Youth is a youth employment project that builds digital infrastructure and scales supports in the youth employment sector to rebuild youth's access to those entry-level jobs that lead to increased opportunity. The project builds on workforce development best practice, and leverages Opportunity for All Youth's network of service providers, growing digital toolkit, and coalition of employers to deploy intake, interview preparation, hiring, outcome tracking, and follow-up at scale for those employers ready to hire.
Title: Mon avenir, j'y travaille
Description: AIDE will provide a minimum of 200 opportunities for youth to gain work experience through which they will learn and develop essential skills that will help them secure a brighter and more prosperous future. The work opportunities will average 16 weeks and will also include up to 10 additional mandatory skills development workshops. AIDE will also support employers in hiring and retaining a diversity of youth through their work experience and integration.
Title: Driving Youth to Careers in Trucking and Logistics
Description: Train and integrate young Canadians currently experiencing barriers to employment into meaningful, well-paying and stable employment opportunities in the trucking and logistics sector by connecting youth to employers and providing wage subsidies as required in order for participants to obtain the necessary pre-employment training and licensing.
Title: Discovering Potential
Description: Secure full-time employment and/or training for youth participants in Canada's electricity industry in need of assistance to overcome employment barriers. EHRC and organizational partners will provide professional and soft skills training to youth participants based on existing programs developed by the organization itself, and will also facilitate further technical training for youth with the broader network of employer, union and post-secondary education institution partners.
**Will attempt to
Title: Pivot 2020
Description: Provide employment and skills building opportunities to young people affected by the COVID-19 crisis through the "Pivot 2020" program designed to enhance Canada's economic and workforce recovery from the pandemic.
Prince Edward Island
Title: Reel Opportunities
Description: Provide information and introductory training to underrepresented youth about the Canadian film industry as a viable career path. These new positions will be in place to promote and facilitate the workshops and lend expertise to the creation of educational video content that will support the program and provide further information and training for participants. They will be drawn from the ranks of film industry professionals who are currently unemployed due to suspension of production during COVID-19.
Title: CICan ImpAct Internships
Description: Provide employment opportunities and skills-building supports to youth greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as financial and human resource supports to employers to increase community capacity and progress on Canada's Sustainable Development Goals targets.
Title: Upskilling and Mentoring Vulnerable Youth for the Future of Work
Description: Provides coaching, wraparound supports and employment opportunities to low-income, diverse young Canadians enrolled in the NPower Canada Core Program and Advance Tech Upskilling Programs delivered in Toronto, Calgary and Halifax, and belonging to communities underrepresented in the technology sector, including women, racialized groups, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ youth, new Canadians and youth with disabilities.
*Regional coverage is not definitive and could be adjusted depending on the size and availability of youth cohorts.
These projects are in addition to the approximately 114 national and regional projects from the 2019 call for proposals, which are now in place across Canada.
In addition, Quebec signed a contribution agreement through which the Government of Quebec will receive approximately $135 million over five years from ESDC's YESS program for projects that exclusively benefit youth in the province of Quebec. A Call for Proposal was launched by the Government of Quebec to identify projects to be supported through this and other provincial investments to support youth skills and employment.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
For post-secondary students and recent graduates who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or for Employment Insurance, but who are unable to find full-time employment or are unable to work due to COVID-19, the government has introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). This benefit provides income support to post-secondary students who experience financial hardship over the summer due to COVID-19. The CESB provides $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, plus an additional $750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities.
To date, the Government of Canada has distributed over $2.8 billion in CESB payments to close to 700,000 post-secondary students. Of this amount, students with a disability and students with a dependant accounted for $631 million.
Breakdown of CESB recipients by province/territory:
Number of recipients*
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Out of country
* As of August 26, 2020 - Numbers are subject to change.
Canada Summer Jobs 2020
The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program provides opportunities for all youth between the ages of 15 and 30 to develop and improve their skills within the not-for-profit, small business, and public sectors. The program is also responsive to national and local priorities to improve access to the labour market for youth.
In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced temporary changes to the CSJ program in April 2020 to better support job creation for youth. These temporary changes include:
an increase to the wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
allowing employers to adapt their projects and job activities to support the delivery of essential services;
an extension to the end date for employment to February 28, 2021; and
allowing employers to hire youth on a part-time basis.
The list of employers approved for funding are available on the Canada Summer Jobs 2020: Employers that have been approved for funding web page.
Breakdown of CSJ by region:
CSJ Jobs Approved*
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
* As of August 14, 2020 - Numbers are subject to change.
Enhancing Student Financial Assistance for fall 2020
The Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) provides student financial assistance to post-secondary education students. With approximately 765,000 students currently benefiting from the program, including through grants and loans, it has the broadest reach of federal student programs.
To address additional financial needs of students caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is easing eligibility requirements for the CSLP for 2020-21 to allow more students to qualify for supports and be eligible for greater amounts. For the upcoming school year, Canada Student Grant amounts will be doubled for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students. The Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents will also be doubled. In addition, the cap on Canada Student Loans will increase from $210 to $350 per week of study.
Furthermore, no contribution will be expected from students and their spouses in determining the amount of financial aid a student can get in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for this school year. These measures are expected to expand the reach of the program at a total estimated cost of approximately $1.9 billion.
The CSLP is delivered in collaboration with 10 participating jurisdictions. Students in Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not receive CSLP support as these jurisdictions run their own student financial assistance programs. Additional compensation will be offered to provinces and territories that do not participate in the CSLP.
Student Work Placement (SWP) Program
The SWP Program supports partnerships between industry and post-secondary education (PSE) institutions, to create quality work integrated learning opportunities for PSE students related to their interests and field of study. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, two temporary measures were introduced, which will be in effect until March 31, 2021, including:
An increase of the wage subsidy to cover up to 75% of the cost of wages across all work-integrated learning placements, up to a maximum of $7,500 per placement.
Waiving the net new requirement, which required that employers do more placements than in previous years to access SWP funding.
New SWP projects include:
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the biotechnology sector. The project is also creating 1,500 new placement opportunities in the health care sector, for students from colleges and universities.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the aviation and aerospace sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the environmental sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the electricity sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the manufacturing sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the information and communications technology sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in any sector of the economy, and creating 3,000 new placement opportunities in health care and other high demand sectors.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the mining sector.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in a variety of sectors. This project is pan-Canadian in scope, as it is being delivered in conjunction with the Alberta Chamber of Commerce and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec. Additional partners include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and other provincial chambers (e.g., Yukon and Atlantic) who are involved in promoting the program in all regions of Canada.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines looking to work in the information and communications technology sector, and creating 500 new placement opportunities in other high demand sectors, for students in all disciplines.
This project is supporting placement opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines in entrepreneurship with innovative small and medium sized enterprises.
* Region: Venture for Canada is focused in the Atlantic Region and is expanding their scope to other provinces. All other SWP projects are national in scope and expect to reach students across Canada.
* The funding totals indicated above for Biotalent Canada, Magnet, and Technation include both an increased wage subsidy for existing placements, and funding for the creation of 5,000 new placement opportunities in health care and other high demand sectors, which is why their funding ratios seem higher. All providers are offering the same level of wage subsidy funding to employers and are held to a maximum 10% administration fee. Amounts listed above for other organizations represent exclusively the funding balance to cover the increased wage subsidy of previously funded placements.
For reference, the Program introduced an increased wage subsidy to cover up to 75% (up to a maximum of $7,500) of the cost of wages for all placements in 2020-21 to assist employers in continuing to offer placements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, the program offers wage subsidies of up to 50% for regular placements, and up to 70% for placements targeting under-represented youth.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada