Skills Boost

The Government of Canada has launched Skills Boost to support adults who want to return to school and upgrade their skills.

Skills Boost consists of several measures from Budgets 2017 and 2018 that are available for the 2018–2019 school year, including making Employment Insurance more flexible and increasing student financial assistance.

More financial support for adults studying full time

Adults who are out of school for 10 years or more could get $1,600 more per year in grants when studying at a post-secondary institution.

More access to part-time student grants and loans

More students from low- and middle-income families can qualify for Canada Student Grants and Canada Student Loans.

Support for low- and middle-income students with children

More students can qualify for Canada Student Grants for full-time and part-time students with children under 12.

Training while on Employment Insurance

People who are out of work can now take full-time training and receive regular EI benefits. Service Canada is now accepting training requests.

Paul has a low income and wants to upgrade his skills to become a professional land surveyor. He already has some skills and experience in the field. He registers for a full-time program with a university in New Brunswick to get a Bachelor of Geomatics. The program will take him two years to complete.

With two young children, Paul is eligible for Canada Student Grants of $6,200 each school year ($3,000 in Canada Student Grants and $1,600 per child). Under Skills Boost, because he completed high school more than 10 years ago he is eligible for $1,600 more each school year, which he does not need to pay back. Paul is also eligible for a Canada Student Loan of $7,140 each school year.

Yasmin recently lost her job of 10 years. She has decided she wants to become a respiratory therapist. She asks Service Canada to refer her to a 3-year program with a health training institute in Toronto. Because she was referred for training, Yasmin can continue to receive EI benefits (up to the number of weeks of benefits available) while she is taking full-time training.

Yasmin can also apply for student financial assistance. She is eligible for a Canada Student Grant of $3,000 each school year and, because she completed high school more than 10 years ago, she is eligible for $1,600 more each school year from Skills Boost, which she does not need to pay back. She is also eligible for a Canada Student Loan of $7,140 each school year.