Book 2: Programs and service overview - Workers and employment

Official title: ESDC Programs and service delivery overview - Workers and employment

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Skills Training

1. Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program

Description

The Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program, launched April 1, 2019, funds a network of Indigenous service delivery organizations to provide a full suite of skills development and employment training to Indigenous people across Canada. The Program’s overarching objective is to help reduce the skills and employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) preceded the ISET program and ran from 2010 to 2019. ASETS service delivery organizations designed their own skills and employment training programs based on local priorities and labour market needs.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) undertook extensive engagement on program renewal with Indigenous stakeholders, other federal departments, provinces and territories, and academic institutions in 2016 and 2017. During this engagement, the Department heard a number of common priorities: to move to distinctions-based labour market strategies; to allow flexibility to provide a more complete and holistic suite of services to address socio-economic issues; to provide additional investments to provide training to a young and growing Indigenous population; and for sustainable and predictable funding with less burdensome reporting and greater flexibility.

In 2018, an investment of $2 billion over five years, and $408.2 million per year ongoing, was made to support the creation of the ISET Program. This includes:

The new ISET Program incorporates a distinctions-based approach to be more responsive to the needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities and enable greater involvement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments and leadership in policy and priority setting. It also increases the ability of Indigenous service delivery organizations to support flexible long-term interventions due to predictable 10-year funding agreements and expanded, co-developed terms and conditions, resulting in better skills and employment outcomes for clients. Finally, a new performance measurement framework is being co-developed to more effectively use existing data to capture the cumulative effects of interventions used to move participants along the skills continuum. ISET Program service delivery organizations design and deliver training and employment programs based on local priorities to support the development of the Indigenous labour market, moving clients along the skills continuum and supporting them in achieving their employment goals.

The ISET Program is discretionary and is established under the authority of section 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. It has two sources of funding: the Pan-Canadian Fund established under the Employment Insurance (EI) Act, Part II; and the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). The Program has been funded through a combination of CRF and EI Part II since 1999.

Key program statistics

The precursor to the ISET Program, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), proved successful in helping Indigenous clients secure employment. From April 2010 to March 2019, ASETS has served 476,897 clients, of which approximately 157,255 clients were employed and 77,237 clients returned to school. The most recent summative evaluation found that Indigenous service delivery organizations are taking a demand-driven approach and aligning their labour market programming with the labour market demands of their regions, and one year after participating in the program, participants increased their employment.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

To ensure that Indigenous people continue to participate in labour market program design and delivery, ESDC and Service Canada work closely with a range of Indigenous partners, including Indigenous Service Delivery Organizations, National Indigenous Organizations (Assembly of First Nations; Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Métis National Council; Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; Native Women's Association of Canada) and Indigenous leadership.

2. Skills and Partnership Fund

Description

The Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) leverages service-delivery and business partnerships to support Indigenous training and participation in current and emerging economic opportunities by funding targeted projects in federally identified priority areas. As a complement to the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program, the SPF program will also help to reduce the skills and employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

The SPF was launched in 2010 to support skills development and training-to-employment for Indigenous participants to access employment opportunities identified by partner employers. Funding is discretionary and is ongoing at $50 million per year with a $10 million per-year maximum amount for any one project.

The SPF is established under the authority of section 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. It is a demand-driven, project-based program that encourages stakeholders, such as training institutions, community organizations, local business and industry, to partner with Indigenous organizations to support skills development, job training and employment supports for Indigenous people. These partnerships are intended to address a broad range of Indigenous socio-economic priorities, while also better meeting local labour market demand.

The expected outcomes of the SPF are:

Key program statistics

Between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2019, 35,871 clients were served under the SPF. Of these clients, 14,525 obtained employment and 1,948 returned to school.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Indigenous organizations are eligible recipients under the SPF program. This may include incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit Indigenous-controlled organizations, Indigenous-controlled unincorporated associations, Indian Act bands, Tribal Councils and Indigenous self-government entities. Successful projects must include a partnership contribution component that includes a commitment to employ Indigenous people in a set number of jobs following the project.

3. Literacy and Essential Skills Program

Description

The Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) program helps adult Canadians improve their literacy and essential skills to better prepare for, get and keep a job and adapt and succeed at work. The Government of Canada identified and validated nine essential skills—reading, writing, numeracy, document use, computer use, thinking, oral communication, working with others and continuous learning—considered the foundation for all other skills training. Strong essential skills help workers to be more resilient to workplace changes and are associated with better labour market outcomes.

The Government of Canada, through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES), collaborates with partners and stakeholders to provide Canadians with access to essential skills tools, resources and training. OLES works closely with provincial and territorial governments to support the integration of essential skills into their employment and training programs, which are supported by federal labour market transfers such as the Labour Market Development Agreements and the Workforce Development Agreements.

The LES program places emphasis on vulnerable populations and those facing multiple barriers to employment, such as Indigenous people, youth, newcomers and official language minority communities (OLMCs). As such, OLES works horizontally with other Employment and Social Development Canada programs such as the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to integrate essential skills into their programming. OLES has also partnered with other federal government departments, such as Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, to enhance the availability of essential skills supports for newcomers, and Canadian Heritage, through the Action Plan for Official Languages to support OLMCs.

The LES program is a grants and contributions program with funding from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and Employment Insurance Part II, allocated through the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program and the National Essential Skills Initiative, respectively. Funding primarily supports the testing, replicating and scaling up of effective and innovative training models. Funded projects complement provincial and territorial programming, and support the development and testing of new models that address gaps and contribute to training and service delivery that is responsive to worker and employer needs.

The nine essential skills, also known as the Essential Skills Framework, was created over 25 years ago. To ensure it is aligned with current labour market needs, OLES is modernizing the framework through extensive engagements with key partners and stakeholders, which is expected to be completed in 2020.

Key program statistics

The key performance indicators for the LES program are:

The program results for 2018 to 2019 as of March 31, 2019, are:

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

OLES has a wide range of stakeholders that each play a unique role in supporting essential skills, including: federal departments; provinces and territories; post-secondary education systems; unions; employers; service delivery organizations; and other organizations that support research on essential skills.

4. Red Seal Program

Description

The Red Seal Program is a federal-provincial/territorial (F-P/T) partnership that works with industry to set common occupational standards to assess the skills of tradespeople across Canada in Red Seal trades. Industry is heavily involved in developing the national occupational standard for each of the 56 Red Seal trades across various sectors (for example, construction, manufacturing, natural resources).

The program is managed and delivered by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) through a partnership between ESDC and all 13 provincial/territorial apprenticeship authorities, which are responsible for apprenticeship training and trade certification in their respective jurisdictions.

Tradespersons who have successfully passed the Red Seal examination receive a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial trade certificate. The Red Seal, when affixed to a provincial or territorial trade certificate, indicates that a tradesperson has demonstrated the knowledge required for the national occupational standard in that trade. The Red Seal endorsement promotes excellence to employers, instills pride in skilled workers, and facilitates labour mobility.

Key program statistics

Over 700,000 tradespeople have attained a Red Seal endorsement. The Red Seal trades cover approximately 79% of apprentices (Registered Apprenticeship Information System, 2017).

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Skills and Employment Branch in collaboration with the provinces and territories

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders for the Red Seal program include: unions (for example, UA Canada, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers’ International Union of North America); industry/employer representatives (for example, National Electrical Trade Council, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Canadian Construction Association); post-secondary institutions (for example, Polytechnics Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada); and non-governmental organizations representing women and Indigenous peoples in the trades (for example, Women Building Futures, Indigenous Works).

5. Apprenticeship Grants Program

Description

The objective of the Program is to support entry/progression and completion/certification within an apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade. Funds can be used to pay for tuition, living expenses, textbooks and/or tools during training.

The Program provides grants (up to $4,000 for all apprentices and up to $8,000 for women in trades where they are under-represented) to eligible apprentices in designated Red Seal trades for completing their first and second year of their apprenticeship or upon receipt of their journeyperson certification.

The Program provides these grants through the:

The Apprenticeship Grants Program is discretionary and does not have a governing legislation.

Key program statistics

In 2018 to 2019, over 66,600 grants were issued to apprentices representing $92.3 million in funding.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

The Program’s key stakeholders are provincial and territorial training authorities, unions, academic institutions and trades associations.

6. Union Training and Innovation Program

Description

The Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) provides $25 million annually to strengthen training in the Red Seal trades through two streams of funding:

For both streams, a priority is given to projects that aim to increase the participation and success of key groups (for example, women, Indigenous people, newcomers, persons with disabilities) in the trades. Challenges that key groups face to enter the trades include barriers caused by a lack of mentors, difficulty finding an employer, discrimination, family obligations, lack of job readiness, geographic barriers and insufficient financial supports to continue training.

Priority is also given to projects that involve broad-based partnerships with employers, community and non-profit groups, training providers, provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, colleges, etc.

The Government of Canada has a separate agreement with the Government of Quebec, which represents an investment of $12 million over three years, starting in 2018 to 2019. The Agreement ensures that the UTIP is delivered along the same parameters as in the rest of Canada and responds to the unique features of Quebec’s apprenticeship system.

The UTIP is discretionary and does not have governing legislation.

Key program statistics

The first Call for Proposals (CFP) for the UTIP was held from July 24, 2017, to September 5, 2017.

A second CFP for Stream 1 (Investments in Training Equipment) was held from July 23 to September 17, 2018. A total of 56 Stream 1 projects were approved and are underway for a total investment of approximately $11.6 million.

A third CFP for Stream 1 was launched on April 30, 2019, for a four-week application period, closing on May 29, 2019. A total of approximately $13.5 million is being invested in this CFP. Projects are expected to begin in fall 2019.

The need for future CFPs is reassessed yearly based on available funding.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key union stakeholders for the Red Seal trades include: Canada’s Building Trades Unions; the Canadian Labour Congress; and the Christian Labour Association of Canada.

Other stakeholders that have been engaged include: industry/employer representatives (for example, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters; the Canadian Construction Association; the Progressive Contractors Association; the Association de la construction du Québec); post-secondary institutions (for example, Polytechnics Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada); and non-governmental organizations representing women and Indigenous people in the trades (for example, Women Building Futures; the Assembly of First Nations; the Aboriginal Human Resource Council).

7. Women in Construction Fund

Description

The Women in Construction Fund (WCF) provides $10 million over three years, starting in 2018 to 2019, to increase the participation of women in the Red Seal trades. More specifically, the Program supports projects building on existing models that have proven to be effective in:

A wide range of organizations and partnerships are eligible for this program, including women’s non-profit organizations, employer and industry associations, unions, training providers, and provinces and territories.

The WCF is discretionary and does not have governing legislation.

Key program statistics

Three-year projects were solicited in 2018 through a targeted solicitation process with a wide range of organizations and partners eligible for this program. Four projects have been approved and are underway for a total investment of $7.7 million over three years.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include women’s organizations, such as Women Building Futures, and the Office to Advance Women Apprentices. Other stakeholders include unions, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous organizations and industry associations.

8. Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program

Description

The Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) Program provides $10 million annually to encourage Canadians—including those facing barriers, such as women, youth, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and newcomers—to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.

More specifically, the Program supports pre-apprenticeship training that aims to:

A wide range of organizations are eligible for the STAR Program, such as community and not-for-profit organizations, employers, provincial and territorial governments, colleges and training providers.

The STAR Program is discretionary and does not have governing legislation.

Key program statistics

Through a targeted solicitation process, a total of nine projects were implemented in 2018 to 2019 for a total investment of approximately $22.7 million over five years.

Two applications are currently being assessed for 2019 to 2020 funding.

The need for solicitation or a call for proposals is reassessed yearly, based on available funding.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include: unions (for example, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Canada’s Building Trades Union, the Christian Labour Association of Canada, the Commission de la construction du Québec); post-secondary organizations (for example, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Mohawk College, Polytechnics Canada, the Council of Deans of Trades and Apprenticeship Canada); and organizations representing groups facing barriers in the trades (for example, Women Building Futures, the Assembly of First Nations, Skills Canada).

9. Sectoral Initiatives Program

Description

The objective of the Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP) is to help key sectors of the Canadian economy identify, forecast and address their human resources and skills issues.

The Program supports sectors and employers to address current and future skills shortages through the development and distribution of sector-specific labour market intelligence, national occupational standards, and skills certification and accreditation systems. The Program also supports innovative workforce development approaches, including those targeting under-represented groups.

The SIP is discretionary and does not have governing legislation.

Key program statistics

The Program is currently supporting 34 active projects in 18 different economic sectors.

During the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year, projects funded by the Program produced:

From 2013 to March 2018, the Program leveraged $44.8 million from program partners and their industry stakeholders towards project budgets.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

The Program’s key stakeholders are primarily partnership-based organizations engaged in skills and workforce development in their respective economic sectors or employment groups across Canada. These include employer consortia and Sector Councils, workplace organizations, industry associations, unions, education and training bodies, professional associations and Indigenous organizations.

10. Job Bank

Description

Job Bank is a free and bilingual job website offered by the Government of Canada which provides timely and relevant information on employment opportunities across Canada to help workers find suitable employment and help employers find suitable workers.

Job Bank allows employers to post job vacancies and workers to search and apply for opportunities using a range of services including Job Search, Job Alerts, Job Match and Resume Builder.

Employment Insurance applicants who provide an email address are automatically subscribed to Job Alerts in order to receive notifications about new jobs.

The Job Bank mobile app provides a new channel for accessing Job Bank’s job posting content which enhances client experience using mobile device-specific features and which caters to job seeker’s evolving needs. Using the app, workers can search for jobs near them, save jobs as favourites and receive notifications about new jobs that match their search criteria.

Job Bank also offers career planning and exploration tools providing different economic and labour market reports, as well as occupational profiles that include requirements, outlooks and wages. This information helps users better understand the labour market and make informed decisions related to their education and career.

Through Labour Market Development Agreements, Job Bank co-delivers its employment services with provinces and territories. Job postings disseminated on Job Bank include those directly posted by employers on Job Bank, as well as those that Job Bank displays through a feed received from external partners (for example, provincial job boards, private job boards).

Employment and Social Development Canada delivers Job Bank on behalf of the Canadian Employment Insurance Commission. Job Bank is a national employment service and is legislated by section 60 of the Employment Insurance Act. It is also mandated by Convention no. 88 of the International Labour Organization.

Key program statistics

In 2018 to 2019, the Job Bank website received 42 million visits and over 1.25 million job postings were available on Job Bank. Over 140,000 job postings were viewed daily. Surveys filled by employers indicate that 35% of employers had filled at least one vacancy via Job Bank.

The mobile app was installed over 164,000 times, with a million total sessions and almost 12 million total page views. Under Explore Careers, Occupation Reports were viewed over 2.3 million times.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Skills and Employment Branch is responsible for the administration of the program in partnership with co-delivering provinces and territories, with support by Service Canada through the Employer Contact Centre.

List of key stakeholders

The program’s key stakeholders are provincial and territorial governments and external and private job boards (for example, Public Service Commission, Monster, Career Beacon, Jobillico). Stakeholders within ESDC are the Employment Insurance Program, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Canada Summer Jobs. Other government department stakeholders include Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada Revenue Agency and Veterans Affairs.

11. Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities

Description

Launched in 2005, the Enabling Fund (EF) for Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) aims to enhance the development and vitality of OLMCs through three broad objectives: development of human resources in OLMCs; community economic development; and community capacity building.

The program delivers on these objectives through contribution agreements with a pan-Canadian network of 14 non-profit organizations, one in each province and territory, and one national organization. Projects and activities under these contribution agreements include:

The Enabling Fund was renewed through the 2018 to 2023 Action Plan for Official Languages with $70.75 million over five years. The program is discretionary and, on average, an annual budget of $12.9 million is allocated through contribution agreements to 14 organizations. An annual operational funding of $1.8 million is managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Additionally, the Department is managing a five-year (2018 to 2023) investment of $6.85 million for early childhood development daycares and child care services in French in minority communities. The goal of this initiative is to support entrepreneurs in opening more Francophone daycares and child care services.

The EF is ESDC’s primary program to meet the legal and mandated obligations under section 41 of the Official Language Act. Pursuant to subsection 41(1) of the Official Languages Act, the “Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development; and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society.” Subsection 41(2) requires that positive measures be taken for the implementation of these commitments. The Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for the horizontal coordination of official languages programs, including the EF.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Skills and Employment Branch in collaboration with Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholder groups primarily include non-profit organizations that provide leadership in economic and human development matters on behalf of the OLMCs in their respective province or territory. These organizations are part of two networks:

12. Skills Boost

Description

To help workers adapt to the changing nature of work and encourage lifelong learning, the Skills Boost initiative provides enhanced student financial assistance and makes better use of Employment Insurance flexibilities targeted to working or unemployed Canadians looking to return to school to upgrade their skills.

Enhanced student financial assistance measures – Skills Boost enhances support available to working Canadians by investing $454.4 million over four years to:

Employment Insurance flexibilities

To support Employment Insurance (EI) claimants who wish to take training while receiving EI regular or fishing benefits, a new option was implemented on August 5, 2018, which allows eligible claimants who have lost their jobs after several years in the workforce to request permission from Service Canada to attend full-time training at an approved institution.

This new option complements other opportunities already available to EI claimants who require additional training to acquire the skills they need:

Key program statistics

Policy lead: Learning Branch for the enhanced student financial assistance measures and
Skills and Employment Branch for the EI measures.

Service delivered by: Provinces and territories and a private-sector service provider for the enhanced student financial assistance measures, and Benefits Delivery Services and provinces and territories for the EI measures.

List of key stakeholders

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

Key stakeholders include the provinces and territories, and a wide range of EI premium payers and their representatives, including Canadian businesses, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, training institutions, service providers and workers.

13. Future Skills

Description

In February 2019, Future Skills was introduced to ensure that Canada’s skills development policies and programs are “future fit” for a new world of work with investments of $225 million over four years, starting in 2018 to 2019, and $75 million per year thereafter in the Future Skills. This funding will ensure to:

Future Skills includes:

The ultimate success of Future Skills is when evidence that is generated by the Council and Centre is integrated broadly into skills development policies and programs that Canadians can access nationwide.

Given that skills development is an area of shared jurisdiction between federal, provincial and territorial governments, partnerships with and across governments is key to support the integration of evidence generated through the initiative into policy development and program design to deliver better results for Canadians. ESDC is working with the Forum of Labour Market Ministers to support provincial and territorial involvement in Future Skills, which is integral to the initiative’s ultimate success.

Key program statistics

ESDC has engaged over 400 organizations including the private sector, educational institutions, labour, not-for-profit, and provinces and territories to inform the design of Future Skills and raise awareness of the two open calls to support the appointment of Council members and the selection of the organizations partnering to operate the Centre.

The Future Skills Centre and Council are building an integrated, pan-Canadian network of diverse partners and stakeholders across the skills development and training ecosystem, and enhancing awareness of Future Skills:

To date, the Future Skills Centre has committed over $19 million over two years in 16 innovation projects across Canada to test innovative approaches to skills development. Each project will be rigorously evaluated to answer important questions about what works for whom under what conditions. The Centre has also launched over 30 research projects for the purpose of building a baseline of information on key themes including emerging skills demand and supply, the future of work and skills trends. As the Centre moves forward, this research will help inform future investments in innovation and experimentation.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholder groups primarily include: business and industry associations, employers, educational and training service providers, Indigenous organizations and groups, labour associations and unions, not-for-profit organizations and academics. The Labour Market Information Council with a mandate to make available consistent, granular local labour market information nationwide is a key Future Skills partner.

Annex A – Council members

14. Labour Market Information Council

Description

The Labour Market Information Council (LMIC) is a non-for profit organization established in 2017 by the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) to improve the timeliness, reliability and accessibility of labour market information to facilitate employment-related decision-making.

The Council’s mission is to empower Canadians, including employers, workers, job seekers, academics, policy makers, educators, career practitioners, students, parents and under-represented groups, with timely and reliable labour market information and insights in an engaging way that supports their decision-making and helps them navigate a changing and dynamic world of work.

The organization works to identify and implement pan-Canadian priorities for the collection, analysis and distribution of labour market information in collaboration with provincial, territorial and federal jurisdictions as well as a wide network of stakeholders involved in labour market issues.

The LMIC is led by a Board of Directors and guided by two advisory panels: the National Stakeholder Advisory Panel (NSAP) and the Labour Market Information Experts Panel.

The Board of Directors is composed of 15 senior government officials representing each province and territory as well as the federal government (Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada). The Board of Directors, in consultation with stakeholders, is responsible for setting the overall priorities and areas of activity for the Council.

The NSAP provides advice on the overall activities of the LMIC, including identifying specific priorities on an annual basis. The NSAP is composed of non-government stakeholders possessing substantial knowledge and expertise in one or more areas of labour market information (LMI). They are also providers of LMI to Canadians.

The Labour Market Information Experts Panel provides expertise and advice on LMI practice and methods, and acts as a resource for technical support on various projects and initiatives.

The LMIC has an Executive Director, Mr. Steven Tobin, who provides overall leadership and management.

Key priorities

The LMIC is focusing on the following priorities, as identified by the FLMM:

Other priorities include increasing collaboration among federal, provincial and territorial governments and stakeholder engagement in LMI collection and dissemination.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

List of key stakeholders

The LMIC aims to improve the timeliness, reliability and accessibility of labour market information to facilitate decision-making by a wide variety of user groups, including job seekers, workers, employers, students, parents, educators, academics, policy makers, career practitioners and under-represented populations.

For more information on the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC) Website.

15. Canada Training Benefit

Description

Announced in 2019, the Canada Training Benefit aims to help working Canadians get the skills they need to succeed in a changing world. The Canada Training Benefit includes:

Legislation to implement the Canada Training Credit was included in the Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1. In spring and summer 2019, the Government consulted with provinces and territories, workers, employers, training providers and other stakeholders on the remaining components to support a late 2020 launch.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch for the EI Training Support Benefit; the Labour Program for the leave provisions; the Department of Finance for the Canada Training Credit and the EI Premium Rebate for Small Businesses.

Service delivered by: Service Canada for the EI Training Support Benefit; the Labour Program for the leave provisions; the Canada Revenue Agency for the Canada Training Credit and the EI Premium Rebate for Small Businesses.

List of key stakeholders

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

Key stakeholders include the provinces and territories, taxpayers and wage earners, and a wide range of EI premium payers and their representatives, including Canadian businesses, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, training institutions, service providers and workers.

Employment Insurance – Part 1

16. Employment Insurance Regular Benefits

Description

Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits provide temporary income support to unemployed individuals who, through no fault of their own, become unemployed while they look for work or upgrade their skills.

The EI benefit rate is 55% of average weekly insurable earnings up to the maximum insurable earnings of $53,100 in 2019, for a maximum weekly benefit of $562. Individuals generally require between 420 and 700 insurable hours to qualify for EI regular benefits, depending on the unemployment rate in the economic region where they reside, and are entitled to receive between 14 and 45 weeks of EI regular benefits. EI claimants with children and an annual family net income that is less than or equal to $25,921 may be eligible to receive the Family Supplement, which can increase their EI benefit rate up to a maximum of 80% of their weekly insurable earnings. The Family Supplement applies to all EI benefit types (special benefits including maternity, parental and caregiving benefits, as well as regular benefits following job loss).

The EI program is designed to respond automatically to changes in regional labour markets. Through the Variable Entrance Requirement, the number of insurable hours required to access EI regular benefits and the duration of benefits provided are based on the monthly unemployment rate in each of Canada’s 62 EI economic regions. The boundaries of these 62 regions are required to be reviewed every five years for the purposes of determining whether the current regions continue to reflect regional labour market conditions. The current review of these boundaries commenced in fall 2018.

Employment Insurance regular benefits are legislated through the Employment Insurance Act and the Employment Insurance Regulations and are administered by Employment and Social Development Canada. The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, a tripartite organization representing the interests of workers, employers and government, also has a legislated role in the administration of the Employment Insurance program.

Key program statistics

In 2017 to 2018, about 1.3 million new EI regular benefits claims were established and $12.6 billion in regular benefits was paid.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include the provinces and territories and a wide range of EI premium payers and their representatives, including Canadian businesses, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, training institutions, service providers and workers.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

17. Employment Insurance Fishing Benefits

Description

Employment Insurance (EI) provides fishing benefits to qualifying self-employed fishers who are actively seeking work.

Unlike regular EI benefits, fishers are able to make claims and receive benefits twice each year for up to 26 weeks each time. This reflects the unique nature of the fishing industry, which has a summer and winter fishing season.

To be eligible for EI fishing benefits, a fisher must be self-employed and unable to qualify for EI regular benefits. A self-employed fisher is a person engaged in fishing, which includes marking or handling a catch and the construction of a vessel for their own use or for the use of the crew.

Eligibility for fishing benefits is based on insured earnings from the value of the catch (rather than insured hours) and the regional unemployment rate. Under the earnings-based system, fishers can qualify for benefits with a minimum of between $2,500 and $4,200 in insured earnings from fishing, depending on the unemployment rate in their region, during their qualifying period (that is the 31-week period before making a claim, or since the start of their last claim if the latter is shorter).

EI fishing benefits are legislated through the Employment Insurance Act and Employment Insurance Regulations and administered by Employment and Social Development Canada. The Canada Employment Insurance Commission, a tripartite organization representing the interests of workers, employers and government, also has a legislated role in the administration of the Employment Insurance program.

Key program statistics

According to the Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report, 30,055 new fishing claims were established in 2017 to 2018. Out of the new claims established, 81% were in the Atlantic provinces. Men accounted for 80% of new claims established and women accounted for 20%. Overall, $300.2 million was paid in EI fishing benefits in 2017 to 2018.

The EI program, including EI fishing benefits, are statutory and receive authority through the Employment Insurance Act.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include the provinces and territories and a wide range of EI premium payers and their representatives, including Canadian businesses, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, training institutions, service providers, workers and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

18. Employment Insurance Seasonal Claimant Pilot Project

Description

Many workers in seasonal employment rely on Employment Insurance (EI) to help them get through their recurring periods of unemployment. If they are not able to find alternative employment, and they have not qualified for sufficient EI benefits to carry them to their return to work the following season, they may experience a period without income from either employment or EI.

There were over 410,500 claims established by seasonal workers according to the 2017/2018 Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report. Of seasonal claims completed in that same year, approximately 28% exhausted their EI entitlement.

In 2018, $189 million was committed to implement a new pilot project to test the provision of up to five additional weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits to eligible seasonal claimants in 13 targeted EI regions. Eligible seasonal claimants are those who start a benefit period between August 5, 2018, and May 30, 2020.

The EI economic regions targeted by the pilot project for the additional five weeks are those with the highest proportions of seasonal claimants to the total labour force and higher than average EI unemployment rates in 2017:

A worker is considered a seasonal claimant if they meet both of the following:

The pilot project is complemented by an investment of up to $41 million over two years to all provinces and territories through their Labour Market Development Agreements to provide skills training and employment supports for workers in seasonal industries, and short-term action the Government of Canada took to provide immediate support to affected workers in seasonal industries through a $10 million reallocation of existing resources. The reallocation was put in place in the most affected provinces to provide them with the flexibility to deliver a wide range of supports including career counselling, workplace essential skills training and associated income supports to seasonal workers while on training.

The Employment Insurance Act provides the authority to conduct EI pilot projects, which are implemented through amendments to the Employment Insurance Regulations.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders for these supports comprise the provinces and territories, Indigenous organizations, training institutions, service providers, a wide range of EI premium payers and their representatives, including Canadian businesses, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations and workers.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

19. Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

Description

The EI sickness benefit provides up to 15 weeks of partial income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine.

In order to qualify for EI special benefits, insured claimants require 600 insurable hours in the 52-week period preceding their claim. Self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program must have earned $7,121 in self-employment earnings in 2018 for claims in 2019. The maximum weekly benefit amount in 2019 is $562.

The Canada Labour Code provides unpaid job-protected leaves for employees in the federal private sector so that they are not at risk of losing their job while accessing EI sickness benefits. For employees under provincial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province/territory.

The EI program also supports the delivery of sickness benefits through private-sector employers through the Premium Reduction Program (PRP). For participating employers, the PRP provides a premium reduction in exchange for companies offering employees sickness benefits that are at least equivalent to those available through EI when the employer health plan is the first payer.

The EI program also allows employers to register Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plans. The purpose of a SUB plan is to provide supplemental payments to EI benefits during a period of unemployment due to temporary stoppage of work, training or illness/injury/quarantine.

The EI program, and the EI sickness benefit, are statutory and receive authority through the Employment Insurance Act.

Key program statistics

According to the Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report, in 2017 to 2018 there were approximately 411,900 new sickness claims established that were paid $1.7 billion in benefits. The actual average duration of sickness benefits completed remained similar to past fiscal years with 9.8 weeks; however, a little more than a third (36%) of completed sickness claims in 2017 to 2018 had used the maximum number of 15 weeks of sickness benefits, which is a similar proportion as the years before.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, employers, employees, health advocates, labour unions, NGOs, and the provinces and territories.

20. Employment Insurance Maternity and Parental Benefits

Description

Maternity benefits are provided to eligible mothers who are pregnant, or who have recently given birth, for up to 15 weeks in the weeks surrounding childbirth.

Parental benefits are provided to eligible parents, including adoptive and same-sex parents, to care for their newborn or newly adopted child(ren). Parents who share benefits can access up to 40 weeks of standard parental benefits paid at 55% of average weekly earnings over the 52-week period following the birth or placement for adoption of the child, with no parent able to access more than 35 weeks. Parents selecting the extended duration option can access up to 69 weeks of benefits paid at 33% of average weekly earnings over the 78-week period with no parents able to access or more than 61 weeks.

In order to qualify for EI special benefits, insured claimants require 600 insurable hours in the 52-week period preceding their claim. Self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program must have earned $7,121 in self-employment earnings in 2018 for claims in 2019. The maximum weekly benefit amount in 2019 is $562.

Many Canadians receive supplementary employer payments to top-up their EI maternity and parental benefits. Top-up payments are not deducted from EI benefits.

The Canada Labour Code provides unpaid job-protected leaves for employees in the federal private sector so that they are not at risk of losing their job while accessing EI maternity and parental benefits. For employees under provincial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province/territory.

Since 2006, the Province of Quebec provides maternity, parental, paternity and adoption benefits to residents of Quebec through the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. EI premiums are reduced in the province of Quebec to reflect that workers do not have access to EI maternity and parental benefits. The Government of Canada works with the Government of Quebec to ensure ongoing coordination between the two programs.

The EI program, including maternity and parental benefits, is a statutory program and receives authority through the Employment Insurance Act.

Key program statistics

According to the Employment Insurance Monitoring and Assessment Report, in 2017 to 2018 there were approximately:

As of December 2018, about 32,000 parents had chosen the extended parental benefit option since it was introduced in December 2017.

The 2017 Statistics Canada Employment Insurance Coverage Survey indicates 87% of mothers with a child aged 12 months or less and insurable employment received EI maternity and parental benefits in 2017. Further, 12% of their spouses or partners claimed or intended to claim EI parental benefits.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Quebec’s Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale ensures coordination between EI and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits. Other stakeholders include employers and labour organizations; and family and gender advocates such as the Vanier Institute for the Family.

21. Employment Insurance Special Benefits for the Self-Employed

Description

Self-employed workers do not have access to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits. However, self-employed workers can opt into the EI program to access EI special benefits, including maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and the family caregiver benefits for children and adults.

To opt into the EI program, self-employed persons must enter into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission through Service Canada and pay premiums. Once benefits have been paid, participants can no longer opt out and are required to pay premiums on their self-employed earnings for the duration of their self-employment career.

To qualify for special benefits, self-employed workers are required to opt in at least one full year prior to claiming EI benefits and have earned a minimum amount in self-employment earnings during the previous tax year. For claims made in 2019, the minimum self-employment income is $7,121 earned in 2018. The maximum weekly benefit amount in 2019 is $562.

Self-employed residents of Quebec receive maternity and parental benefits through the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). They can access EI sickness, compassionate care and family caregiver benefits by opting into the EI program, with the appropriate adjustments to their EI premiums.

The EI program, including EI special benefits, is statutory and receives authority through the Employment Insurance Act.

Key program statistics

Enrollment in the program has seen increased growth in participation. There were over 21,240 self-employed workers enrolled in the EI program as of March 2019.

In 2017 to 2018, 746 claims were established for self-employed workers, of which 97% were submitted by women. The average weekly benefit rate was $337 and the total benefits paid was $9.8 million:

An evaluation of the Special Benefits for Self-Employed program released in 2016 found that levels of program awareness among self-employed workers were low and administrative costs were high relative to benefits paid out. Self-employed claimants reported that the program had a positive impact on their lives.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders include the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, chambers of commerce and sectoral groups of self-employed workers, such as independent practice nurses or artists and real estate agents.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

22. Employment Insurance Caregiving Benefits

Description

There are two types of EI caregiving benefits:

To access these benefits, claimants must submit a medical certificate signed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner confirming that the caregiving recipient is critically ill or injured or in need of end-of-life care. Caregivers can share the benefits, either at the same time or one after another, and receive their benefits when most needed during a 52-week period.

In order to qualify for EI special benefits, insured claimants require 600 insurable hours in the 52-week period preceding their claim. Self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program must have earned $7,121 in self-employment earnings in 2018 for claims in 2019. The maximum weekly benefit amount in 2019 is $562.

The Canada Labour Code provides unpaid job-protected leaves for employees in the federal private sector so that they are not at risk of losing their job while accessing EI caregiving benefits. For employees under provincial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province/territory.

The EI program, including EI special benefits, is statutory and receives authority through the Employment Insurance Act.

Key program statistics

In 2017 to 2018 there were approximately:

As of December 30, 2018, about 13,700 claims were established for the family caregiver benefit for adults and children since December 2017:

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholder groups primarily include health advocacy groups (for example, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society), the Canadian Medical Association, the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association).

23. Employment Insurance Premium Reduction Program

Description

The Employment Insurance (EI) program is fully financed through premium contributions from workers and employers. Employers pay 1.4 times the rate paid by workers. The premium rate for 2019 is $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings for workers and $2.27 per $100 of insurable earnings for employers.

Legislative authority for the Premium Reduction Program (PRP) stems from section 69 of the Employment Insurance Act, and administrative provisions are set out in the Employment Insurance Regulations.

The PRP provides employers who offer wage-loss plans that meet the criteria set out in the Employment Insurance Regulations with a reduction in EI premiums. To qualify for the premium reduction, the wage-loss plan must be at least equivalent to EI sickness benefits. The rationale for the reduction in premiums is that employees covered by wage-loss plans will make fewer claims for EI sickness benefits, resulting in a savings to the EI program.

The amount of the premium reduction is calculated annually by the EI Senior Actuary at the time the EI premium rate is set. The 2018 EI Actuary Report estimates that the cost savings to the EI program generated by these employer plans for 2019 will be $1,009 million.

Based on the findings of the most recent departmental study on the PRP, there were approximately 26,700 employers receiving EI premium reductions through the PRP in 2013. Larger firms were most likely to participate in the PRP. As of 2013, 7.1 million workers had employment in firms receiving a premium reduction.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholder groups primarily include employer associations, including the Canadian Payroll Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, as well as labour unions. The Canada Employment Insurance Commission actively engages both employer and worker constituents and stakeholders on EI issues, including the PRP.

24. Work-Sharing Program

Description

Work-Sharing is an adjustment program designed to help employers and workers avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer.

Under a Work-Sharing agreement, employers, workers (the union, if applicable) and Service Canada agree to reduce the workers’ work week by a minimum of one half day, up to a maximum of three days, while the employer implements mandatory recovery activities. To help compensate for the hours not worked, eligible workers receive income support in the form of Employment Insurance (EI) Work-Sharing benefits if they are eligible for regular EI benefits. The goal is for all participating employees to return to normal working hours by the end of the Work-Sharing agreement.

Through Work-Sharing, employers are able to retain skilled workers and avoid the expensive process of recruiting and training new employees when the business returns to normal levels. It also helps workers avoid the hardship of being laid off, allowing them to stay engaged in the workforce while supplementing their wages with Work-Sharing benefits for the days they are not working. Beyond the direct benefits to workers and employers, Work-Sharing helps participants’ families and local communities while recovery activities take place.

Employers who wish to use Work-Sharing must comply with program eligibility requirements designed to protect the labour market and ensure that Work-Sharing is not artificially sustaining a failing business. Employers are required to carry out an in-depth recovery plan with activities that will promote and support recovery in response to the unexpected downturn, with the intention of returning workers to normal staffing levels. These requirements hold employers accountable to their recovery plan activities and ensure that Work-Sharing is used as a tool to promote overall recovery and employee retention, benefiting the direct community and broader labour market.

A standard Work-Sharing agreement can last up to 38 weeks, at which time employers must serve a cooling-off period equal to the length of their agreement before reapplying to the Program. This mandatory cooling-off period between agreements is meant to provide assurance that recovery is achieved before a new agreement is approved and that the employer is not relying on Work-Sharing to sustain their business.

In recent years, the Government of Canada has introduced temporary special Work-Sharing measures as a support mechanism for employers and workers facing downturns in specific sectors and industries (that is commodities, forest sector, steel and aluminum). In general, employers accessing these measures need to demonstrate how their operations and workers have been directly or indirectly affected by the specific downturn being addressed. Eligible employers can benefit from a waiving of the mandatory cooling-off period between agreements, agreement extensions and relaxed recovery plan requirements. These measures ultimately promote business viability and recovery for the sectors or industries being targeted.

Work-Sharing operates under the authority of the Employment Insurance Act and Employment Insurance Regulations, which provide for the payment of Work-Sharing benefits to individuals who are qualified to receive benefits under the Employment Insurance Act and who are employed under a Work-Sharing agreement that has been approved by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC).

Key program statistics

In 2018 to 2019, there were 159 Work-Sharing agreements with 4,962 workers participating. The total cost of these agreements to the Government of Canada was $21.1 million. In the absence of Work-Sharing agreements, layoffs resulting from temporary downturns would have cost the EI Operating Account an estimated $25.5 million. Work-Sharing participation accounted for approximately $4.4 million in unpaid EI benefits due to employee retention in 2018 to 2019, resulting in overall savings to the EI Operating Account.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Benefits Delivery Services

List of key stakeholders

Since the Work-Sharing program supports both employers and workers, key program stakeholders include labour unions, national industry associations and various other groups representing employers and workers.

The CEIC plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program, which includes setting the administrative policy of the Work-Sharing program and representing the balanced interests of both employers and workers. Service Canada carries out the administration of the Work-Sharing program on behalf of the CEIC, assessing applications against program requirements and monitoring agreements.

25. Employment Insurance Financing

Description

The Employment Insurance (EI) program is fully financed through premium contributions from workers and employers. Employers pay 1.4 times the rate paid by workers. The current premium rate, in effect until December 31, 2019, is $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings for workers, and $2.27 per $100 of insurable earnings for employers. Premium contributions by workers and employers are made until the Maximum Insurable Earnings (MIE) limit is reached ($53,100 in 2019).

Workers and employers in Quebec pay a lower premium rate ($1.25 and $1.75 for workers and employers respectively) to account for the fact that Quebec administers its own maternity parental and adoption program, thereby reducing the amount of EI special benefits payable to workers in Quebec.

EI premium revenues are held in the Employment Insurance Operating Account (EIOA). All amounts received under the Act are deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Fund and credited to the Account.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) is responsible for setting the EI premium rate annually according to a seven-year break-even mechanism. The seven-year break-even rate represents the premium rate that would result in a cumulative balance of zero in the EIOA over a seven-year time horizon, eliminating any cumulative surplus or deficit. Additionally, annual changes in the premium rate are subject to a legislated limit of 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings.

The seven-year break-even rate is calculated for the CEIC by the EI Senior Actuary at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). The Actuary relies on information provided by the Minister of ESDC and Minister of Finance. Each year the Actuary produces the Actuarial Report on the Employment Insurance Premium Rate and ESDC produces a summary of this report on behalf of the CEIC. The Minister of ESDC is required to table the Report and its summary in both houses of Parliament within 10 sitting days of publication.

The CEIC must set and announce the premium rate for the next calendar year on or before September 14. The new rate must also be published in the Canada Gazette. Budget 2019 projected the EI premium rate for 2020 to decline by one cent to $1.61 per $100 of insurable earnings.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Canada Revenue Agency (collection of premiums); Benefits Delivery Services (EI operations and benefit payment).

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholder groups primarily include employer associations, including the Canadian Payroll Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, as well as labour unions. The CEIC actively engages both employer and worker constituents and stakeholders on EI issues, including on financial issues.

The Department of Finance has an interest in EI financing, since the balance of the EIOA has an impact on the overall balance of the federal budget.

Employment Insurance – Part 2

26. Labour Market Development Agreements

Description

The Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) are bilateral agreements with each province and territory to design and deliver skills training and employment services. The purpose of the LMDAs is to help Canadians get the training and support they need to find and keep employment and to develop a skilled labour force that meets current and emerging needs of employers.

The LMDAs are funded by Employment Insurance (EI) premiums (paid by employers and workers) and governed by Part II of the Employment Insurance Act. The purpose of EI Part II is to help maintain a sustainable EI system (for example, by creating savings to the EI Operating Account from unpaid EI benefits resulting from helping individuals get back to work before the end of their EI benefit entitlement). This is primarily achieved by provinces and territories through the LMDAs.

Each year, the Government of Canada transfers $2.14 billion in ongoing funding to the provinces and territories, of which $1.95 billion supports programs and $191 million is for administration. Following Budget 2017, an additional $1.8 billion is being provided over six years (which started in 2017 to 2018) for the LMDAs. Individual amending agreements were signed with all jurisdictions to allow this additional funding to flow.

The LMDAs have also been leveraged to flow additional targeted funding to provinces and territories to help workers affected by adjustments in the labour market, such as workers affected by a forest sector trade dispute (2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019), the steel and aluminium trade dispute (2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020) and those working in seasonal industries (2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020). Eligible jurisdictions interested in receiving the additional funding were required to sign amending agreements to allow the additional funding to flow.

The Employment Insurance Act and LMDAs set out broad parameters within which each province and territory can design and deliver its labour market programming. Specifically:

The LMDAs are complemented by the new Workforce Development Agreements, which are bilateral transfers to provinces and territories funded by the Consolidated Revenue Fund (non-EI).

Key program statistics

In 2017 to 2018, 695,911 LMDA clients participated in 1,071,881 LMDA-funded interventions. Moreover, 177,335 clients found employment within six months of completing their LMDA-funded interventions, resulting in $1.103 billion in unpaid EI benefits from the EI Operating Account. The impact and effectiveness of LMDA interventions are evaluated every three to five years. Results from the latest evaluation cycle demonstrate that overall, program participants improved their labour market outcomes (employment and earnings) and reduced their dependence on government income support (EI and social assistance).

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Provincial and territorial governments

List of key stakeholders

In addition to provinces and territories, LMDA stakeholders comprise a wide range of EI premium payers, including Canadian businesses and their representatives, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, training institutions, service providers, official language minority communities and workers.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. ESDC administers EI Part II on behalf of the Commission. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

27. Workforce Development Agreements

Description

The Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) transfer funding to provinces and territories to support their employment and skills training programming. Under the agreements, provinces and territories are responsible for the design and delivery of programs and can offer a variety of interventions including skills training, employment counselling and services, group training, financial assistance and benefits, labour market connections, experiential learning and employer-sponsored training.

Under the WDAs, the Government of Canada provides provinces and territories with $722 million annually, as well as an additional $900 million over six years from 2017 to 2018 and 2022 to 2023. The WDAs are funded by the Consolidated Revenue Fund and are established by the Minister of the Department of Employment and Social Development pursuant to section 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act.

Programs delivered under the WDAs can support individuals who are unemployed or further removed from the labour market to find and maintain employment. They can also support those who are underemployed, employed or self-employed and seeking to upskill and/or reorient their careers. These agreements include specific funding targeted for persons with disabilities and can be used to provide targeted supports to under-represented groups such as Indigenous peoples, youth, older workers and newcomers to Canada. The WDAs also support employers seeking to train current or future employees.

WDAs have been signed with all provinces and territories. They consolidate and replace three previous labour market transfer agreements: the Canada Job Fund Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. Provinces and territories can continue delivering programs similar to those offered under these former agreements, but they also have the flexibility to adapt these models or create new interventions to meet the needs of their local labour markets.

The WDAs represent the Government of Canada’s largest source of targeted funding for employment supports for persons with disabilities. Between 2017 to 2018 and 2022 to 2023, approximately $2.7 billion will be invested nationally under the WDAs for employment and training supports for persons with disabilities. This includes approximately $1.44 billion in federal funding and $1.24 billion in provincial/territorial cost-match spending.

The WDAs are complemented by the Labour Market Development Agreements, which are also bilateral agreements with provinces and territories that support their employment and skills training programming.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Provinces and territories, which may choose to deliver services through third-party organizations.

List of key stakeholders

In addition to provinces and territories, WDA stakeholders include workers, unions, employers and their representatives, not-for-profit organizations, training institutions, service providers and official language minority communities.

28. Employment Insurance Part II Pan-Canadian Programming

Description

The purpose of Employment Insurance (EI) Part II is to help maintain a sustainable EI system. This is achieved through the provision of skills training and employment services that enable eligible individuals to gain skills and work experience with a combination of interventions such as skills training and wage subsidies.

The responsibility for direct service delivery to individuals under EI Part II has been largely devolved to provinces and territories through the Labour Market Development Agreements (over $2 billion annually in ongoing funding) and the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program (about $121.5 million in EI funds in 2019 to 2020, reaching $124.6 million in 2022 to 2023). The Government of Canada continues to deliver pan-Canadian programming under EI Part II to meet labour market priorities that are national in scope (for example, labour mobility, labour market information) or of strategic importance (for example, workforce adjustment measures).

To align with the provisions under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act, including one pertaining to the harmonization with provincial and territorial initiatives to reduce overlap or duplication, the federal government continues to deliver programming only under the following authorities:

These are support measures that are available to all employed and unemployed persons in Canada.

The current ongoing activities under the pan-Canadian funding envelope represent investments of roughly $151 million (program and operating) annually. Examples of priorities covered include:

The pan-Canadian funding envelope has also been used to respond to labour market challenges of national scope. For example, additional targeted funding has been made available to provinces and territories through their Labour Market Development Agreements to help workers affected by adjustments in the labour market such as the forest sector trade dispute (2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019), the steel and aluminium trade dispute (2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020) and to support workers in seasonal industries (2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020).

Details and results on individual programs funded under EI Part II are included in respective Program Modules. Results for programs under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act are also reported in Chapter 3 of the annual EI Monitoring and Assessment Report, which is tabled in Parliament.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous and third-party organizations, and Service Canada

List of key stakeholders

EI Part II stakeholders include Canadian businesses and their representatives, employer associations, unions, not-for-profit organizations, training institutions, official language minority communities, Indigenous people, service providers and workers.

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission plays a leadership role in overseeing the EI program. ESDC administers EI Part II on behalf of the Commission. It includes representation from business, labour and the Government of Canada.

Persons with Disabilities

29. Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization

Description

The Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) is a new departmental corporation within the portfolio of ESDC created on July 11, 2019, upon the coming into force of Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act (the Act). Its mandate is to contribute to the realization of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040 through, among other things:

CASDO standards will be developed by technical committees consisting of people with disabilities, technical experts and other stakeholders, including industry. The standards will serve as model standards and could be considered for incorporation into regulation under the Act or for adoption by other jurisdictions.

CASDO will also administer a grants and contributions program to mobilize innovative, pioneering research into the identification and removal of barriers to accessibility, and the prevention of new barriers, enabling the development of evidence-based standards.

CASDO will be responsible for submitting an annual report on its operations to the Minister for subsequent tabling in Parliament.

CASDO is led by a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO) appointed by the Governor in Council and is equivalent to a deputy head. The CEO is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization and implementing the strategic direction set by its Board of Directors, the majority of whom will be people with disabilities.

It is anticipated that CASDO will be appropriated in the December 2019 supplementary estimates process. Upon appropriation, CASDO will become a separate departmental corporation within the ESDC portfolio.

In the interim, a CASDO implementation team was established within ESDC to set up CASDO’s interim and future/permanent accessible office spaces, secure back office support services for the organization by entering into memorandums of understanding, establish governance structures and program operations, including for technical committees for accessibility standards and research funding.

Policy lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch (temporary—until CASDO is fully operational)

Service delivered by: Income Security and Social Development Branch (temporary- until CASDO is fully operational)

30. Accessible Canada Initiative

Description

The Accessible Canada Act (the Act) and complementary initiatives are being implemented to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities in Canada. The purpose of the Act is to benefit all people, especially people with disabilities, through the realization of a Canada without barriers, on or before January 1, 2040, by the identification, removal and prevention of barriers in the following areas:

The Accessible Canada Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, and came into force
on July 11, 2019. Approximately $290 million was allocated over six years to further the objectives of the legislation and of the complementary initiatives.

The Act applies to the federally regulated private sector, including banking, transportation (air, marine, and interprovincial and international railway and road), and broadcasting and telecommunications services, as well as to the Government of Canada, Crown corporations and parliamentary entities (for example, Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament). Under the Act, these organizations will be required to prepare and publish plans that describe how they will identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. They will also be required to establish a process for receiving and addressing feedback on accessibility from individuals who interact with their organization, and to publish regular progress reports on the implementation of their accessibility plans, and on feedback received and how it was addressed.

The Accessible Canada Act establishes new structures and positions, including:

As well, through the Act, the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will have expanded mandates in relation to accessibility in their respective jurisdictions.

The Act requires that initial regulations regarding reporting requirements be made within two years of the Act coming into force (that is by July 11, 2021). Employment and Social Development Canada has begun pre-consultation work on regulations regarding accessibility plans, feedback processes and progress reports, as well as on regulations for administrative monetary penalties.

In support of the objectives of the Act, the Government of Canada is undertaking a number of complementary initiatives focused on accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, including:

Policy lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch

Service delivered by: Income Security and Social Development Branch

List of key stakeholders

Numerous disability and accessibility-focused organizations—mostly national, and representing people with a range of disabilities and those who are Deaf—and industry organizations provided input during the consultation process that informed the development of the Accessible Canada Act, and participated in the legislative process by making written submissions and appearing before parliamentary committees studying the Act. Funding was provided to coalitions of organizations to engage their members and communities on the legislation. Broad partnerships were formed, bringing together organizations representing diverse interests in the disability community.

31. Canada Disability Savings Program

Description

Introduced in 2008, the Canada Disability Savings Program (CDSP) is a statutory program that helps Canadians with severe and prolonged disabilities and their families save for the future. There are three components: the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), the Canada Disability Savings Grant (the grant) and the Canada Disability Savings Bond (the bond). The grant and bond components are governed by the Canada Disability Savings Act and Canada Disability Savings Regulations. The RDSP is governed by the Income Tax Act and is a tax-deferred, long-term savings plan. Earnings accumulated under the RDSP are tax-free until withdrawn. Individuals under the age of 60 who have a Social Insurance Number, are eligible for the disability tax credit, and are Canadian residents that can open an RDSP. There is no annual contribution limit; however, the maximum lifetime contribution limit is set at $200,000.

To help individuals save, the Government of Canada pays matching grants of up to 300%, depending on the amount contributed and the beneficiary’s family income. The maximum grant
is $3,500 each year, with a limit of $70,000 over the beneficiary’s lifetime. Grants will be paid into the RDSP on contributions made on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 49.

In addition, the Government deposits a bond of up to $1,000 a year into the RDSPs of low- and modest-income beneficiaries with a limit of $20,000 over the beneficiary’s lifetime. It is not necessary to make a contribution to the RDSP to receive the bond. Bonds will be paid on applications made on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 49.

After the year the beneficiary reaches the age of 49, private contributions to an RDSP can continue until the end of the year the beneficiary turns 59 years of age, but will not attract the matching grant.

To encourage long-term savings, grants and bonds must remain in the plan for at least 10 years, or be subject to full or partial repayment to the Government. The amount to be repaid depends on the amount withdrawn and the amount of time the grant and bond remained in the plan. Withdrawals from an RDSP must start no later than the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary reaches the age of 60.

Changes to the RDSP are being made to address concerns raised by stakeholders and Canadians with disabilities: 1) Eliminate the requirement to close an RDSP when the beneficiary no longer qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit, and 2) Exempt RDSPs from seizure in bankruptcy. These changes, expected to become effective after 2020, will better protect the long-term savings of persons with disabilities.

As of the end of December 2017, 168,567 RDSPs were registered, into which the Government had paid a total of $1.8 billion in grants and $837.5 million in bonds since the beginning of the program. The total value of RDSP assets was $4.16B.

Policy lead: Finance Canada sets the overall policy parameters. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is responsible for the administration of the savings vehicle, the RDSP, while Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is responsible for the administration of the grant and bond. Within ESDC, the Income Security and Social Development Branch is responsible for program policy and outreach. The Learning Branch is responsible for the operations including providing client services, the processing and payment of grants and bonds, and developing training materials for the financial institutions that offer RDSPs.

Service delivered by: The Canadian financial services industry, with guidance from ESDC or CRA as required.

List of key stakeholders

Seventeen financial institutions who offer RDSPs to the public and various disability organizations, particularly those focused on financial security for people with disabilities and financial literacy.

32. Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Description

Description

The Social Development Partnership Program – Disability (SDPP-D) is a grants and contributions program that seeks to improve the participation and social inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society. It also provides base funding of $11 million annually to not-for-profit organizations for project and operating funding.

In December 2017, following consultations with the disability community in 2016, a renewal of the national operating funding was launched through a competitive call for proposals. The renewal introduced the Performance and Accountability Framework to guide future operating funding decisions for national not-for-profit disability organizations. The Framework was designed to foster fairness, transparency, predictability and accountability in decision-making about national operating funding.

Additional funding was provided in 2019 for SDPP-D to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as implementation of the Accessible Canada Act. This includes:

For 2019 to 2020, a number of projects are underway including projects to support the Accessible Canada Act, the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, as well as capacity building and financial security for persons with disabilities.

SDPP-D is a discretionary program that operates under the authority of sections 5 and 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act.

Policy lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Various disability organizations representing persons with a range of disabilities.

33. Enabling Accessibility Fund

Description

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45 million grant and contribution program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2013, the EAF was extended on an ongoing basis at $15 million annually ($13.65 million in grant and contribution funding and $1.35 million in operational funding).

An additional $4 million over two years to the EAF was provided in 2016 as part of social infrastructure investments to further support construction and renovation projects related to improving physical accessibility and safety for people with disabilities in Canadian communities.

An additional $77 million ($70 million in grant and contribution funding and $7 million in operational funding) over 10 years was provided in 2017 to expand the activities of the EAF. As a result, starting in 2018 to 2019, the yearly EAF budget grew to $22.7 million, of which $20.7 million is dedicated to grant and contribution funding, and $2 million is reserved for operational funding. This expansion will help support an additional 1,846 accessibility projects over 10 years, making Canadian communities more inclusive and accessible.

Since inception in 2007, over $178 million in funding has been disbursed to support over 4,000 projects that have helped thousands of Canadians in communities across the country access programs and services, as well as employment opportunities.

Eligible recipients are not-for-profit, for-profit and Indigenous organizations, as well as municipal and territorial governments, which can apply for funding through periodic funding processes under three program components:

The EAF is a discretionary program that operates under the authority of sections 5 and 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act.

Policy lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

Communities and workplaces across the country seeking to increase accessibility to programs, services and spaces for people with disabilities.

34. Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

Description

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (Opportunities Fund) is a $40 million per year program that helps persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment. The program was launched in 1997 and was designed to fill a gap in federal supports for persons with disabilities who are not eligible for Employment Insurance, or training support under Part II of the Employment Insurance Act.

Through the Opportunities Fund, the Government of Canada provides funding to third-party organizations that offer a wide range of services such as job search supports, work experience, self-employment assistance, wage subsidies and skills development. The program also supports awareness initiatives that encourage employers to hire persons with disabilities, as well as programs designed to help employers create inclusive workplaces and match employers with persons with disabilities.

The Opportunities Fund includes both a national and a regional stream. National projects operate in three or more provinces and support both participant-centered and employer-centered projects. Regional projects focus on participant-based interventions. Program funding is distributed via a competitive Call for Proposals (CFP) held every three years. The last CFP for the program was held in 2018. There are currently 15 national projects and 70 regional projects in place from this CFP. In addition to these projects, there are two projects administered through the Opportunities Fund stemming from Budget 2019 and another project still in place from the 2015 CFP.

The Opportunities Fund is a discretionary program that operates under the authority of sections 5 and 7 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act.

Additional temporary funding measures under the Opportunities Fund

Starting 2018 to 2019, an additional investment of $18.4 million over 6 years was made to the fund to expand the program to better support small and medium employers. The funding will be used to support the development of matching services that connect employers and persons with disabilities, and to help employers develop and implement effective recruitment and retention strategies.

Starting in 2019 to 2020, $12 million over three years has been earmarked for the continuation of the Ready, Willing and Able project. This project will be delivered by the Canadian Association for Community Living in partnership with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance. $1.0 million in 2019 to 2020 has been earmarked for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to connect persons with visual impairments to small and medium-sized employers.

Key program statistics

The results for 2018 to 2019 for the program are as follows:

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch for the national stream; Program Operations Branch in collaboration with Service Canada Regions for the regional stream.

List of key stakeholders

The Opportunities Fund has a number of stakeholders that varies depending on who is in receipt of funding after any given CFP. Stakeholders from the program include organizations whose primary focuses are advocacy for persons with disabilities and/or the provision of employment and social programming for persons with disabilities.

35. Canada Pension Plan - Disability

Description

A component of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Canada Pension Plan disability (CPPD) is Canada’s largest federal income security program for persons with disabilities.

The fundamental purpose of the program is to provide partial earnings replacement for eligible CPP contributors who cannot work due to a severe and prolonged disability.

In addition, the contributor must be under the age of 65 and meet the CPP contributions requirements.

The amount of a disability benefit is based on contributions made over an individual’s contributory period, plus a flat rate, and is indexed annually. The maximum monthly rate for 2019 is $1,362.30. In addition, a monthly children’s benefit of $250.27 for 2019 is payable for each child up to age 18, or age 25 if the child is attending school full time.

In 2017 to 2018, CPPD paid approximately $4.4 billion in benefits to 338,000 disabled beneficiaries and to 83,000 children of disabled beneficiaries. Approximately 67,000 CPPD applications are processed per year.

If an applicant feels their application has been wrongfully denied, they have the right to request reconsideration. If they are denied a second time, the applicant may choose to appeal this decision to the Social Security Tribunal.

CPPD benefits are not meant to replace all of a person’s income; rather, they are meant to be one component of a person’s income replacement. They are supplementary to other forms of assistance, such as private disability insurance plans, provincial social assistance benefits, and workers’ compensation programs.

Most beneficiaries will never work after being granted benefits. However, for the approximate 1% who are able to return to work (due to improvements or adaptations to their medical conditions), the CPPD program provides various return-to-work supports, such as a three-month work trial which allows beneficiaries to test their work abilities, automatic reinstatement of benefits within two years and fast track reapplication within five years for those beneficiaries who experience a recurrence of the same or related disability, among others.

The CPPD is a statutory program governed by the Canada Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan Regulations, is administered by Employment and Social Development Canada, and is delivered through a network of eight Service Canada processing centres in the Atlantic, Ontario, and Western Canada and Territories Regions.

As joint stewards of the CPP, the Minister of Finance and their provincial counterparts review the financial viability of the CPP every three years through the Triennial Review process and make recommendations as to whether the amount of benefits or the contribution rate should be changed. Major amendments to the CPP require the agreement of at least two thirds of the provinces, representing at least two thirds of the population.

The CPPD Program is currently undergoing a multi-year comprehensive renewal further to recent reviews, including a 2015 Report of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). While the six commitments to the OAG have been met, the CPPD Renewal work plan (a cross-branch responsibility under the governance of an ADM steering committee) goes beyond those recommendations, with a number of on-going initiatives in support of three target areas of improvements:

The Income Security and Social Development Branch of ESDC develops CPPD policy, provides policy and program direction, manages legislative and regulatory interpretation and change and provides advice and support on complex medical files through medical advisors.

Service Canada and its regions deliver CPPD benefits, process applications, determine eligibility, issue payments, provide operational policy direction and respond to program inquiries from the public.

Policy lead: Income Security and Social Development Branch

Service delivered by: Benefit Delivery Services Branch and Transformation and Integrated Service Management Branch

List of key stakeholders

Key stakeholders for the CPPD Program include advocacy groups, members of the medical and legal communities, long-term disability insurers, federal and provincial/territorial partners (including disability programs) and international income support programs for people with disabilities.

In particular, the CPPD Client and Stakeholder Roundtable was formed in 2001 to provide feedback to ESDC on the program. The Roundtable was renewed in 2016 following the OAG report and continues to play an essential role in providing client and stakeholder perspectives on the design and implementation of the CPPD program, including renewal efforts.

Foreign Workers

36. Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Description

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows Canadian employers access to foreign workers on a temporary basis when qualified Canadian or permanent resident workers are not available and ensures that foreign workers are protected.

The TFW Program is legislated through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and is jointly administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). ESDC assesses applications from employers requesting to hire foreign workers and issues an assessment on the likely impact these workers would have on the Canadian labour market. IRCC then reviews applications from foreign workers and issues visas and authorizes work permits. The CBSA determines admissibility at the port of entry when the workers arrive in Canada and issues the work permit on behalf of IRCC.

The TFW Program is composed of the following five streams: (1) high-wage, in which the wage offered is at or above the provincial/territorial median wage; (2) low-wage, in which the wage offered is below provincial/territorial median wage; (3) Primary Agriculture which includes the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; (4) Global Talent Stream for in-demand Information and Communications Technology (ICT) / Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) occupations and unique and specialized talent; and (5) a stream that supports permanent residence.

Employers who wish to use the TFW Program must comply with strict program criteria designed to protect foreign workers and ensure that the entry of a foreign worker will not have an adverse impact on the Canadian labour market. Employers must submit a completed Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to ESDC.

An LMIA fee of $1,000 is paid by the employer to access the Program. There is fee exemption for employers hiring through the Primary Agriculture Stream, for families seeking to hire caregivers for persons with high medical needs and families with $150,000 or less annual income, and for LMIAs in support of permanent residence.

To ensure that both the foreign workers and the Canadian labour market are protected, the Program is supported by a comprehensive employer compliance regime that includes the authority to conduct employer inspections, including visiting worksites (announced and unannounced inspections), to verify whether employers meet program conditions. Non-compliant employers can face a range of consequences, such as administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) ranging from $500 to $100,000 (up to $1 million in a 12-month period per employer), bans from accessing the Program (of 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, as well as permanent bans for the most serious violations) or revocation of LMIAs.

Additionally, the Department is conducting a two-year Migrant Worker Support Network pilot initiative in British Columbia for foreign workers dealing with potential mistreatment or abuse. The goals of the pilot are to support and empower foreign workers to learn about, understand and exercise their rights while working in Canada, while also supporting employers to understand and comply with program conditions and requirements.

Key program statistics

Following significant reforms in 2013 to 2014 due to concerns that the Program was not being used as intended, the number of approved foreign worker positions fell by nearly 50% from 162,400 in 2013 to a low of 87,765 in 2016. This decrease was felt most significantly in the low-wage stream where the number of low-wage foreign workers positions fell by almost 80% in this period.

In 2018, 108,190 positions were approved by the program, 64% of which (69,775) were in the Primary Agriculture stream. The low-wage and high-wage streams accounted for 20% (21,193) and 13% (14,369) positions respectively.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

The TFW Program has an extensive list of stakeholders that can vary depending on program stream or sector of activity. While the program serves all sectors of the economy, the bulk of stakeholders are concentrated in sectors that make more extensive use of the program, notably agriculture and agri-food; trucking; construction; tourism and hospitality; information technology; film and video production; and technology focused incubators.

Key stakeholder groups primarily include: (1) employer associations and related third-party representatives such as immigration consultants and lawyers; (2) labour unions; (3) migrant workers and migrant worker support organizations with interest in worker protections; (4) foreign governments, notably Mexico and 11 Caribbean countries which, through bilateral agreements with Canada, supply workers to Canadian farms under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; and (5) provinces and territories who are responsible for immigration, labour market and workplace health and safety regulations and the regulation of recruitment agencies.

37. Global Talent Stream

Description

The Global Talent (GT) Stream, was launched in 2017 under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, as one of four pillars of the Global Skills Strategy, which is designed to help Canadian businesses attract the global talent they need to succeed, promote global investment in Canada and support the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.

The GT Stream enables employers to receive expedited, predictable access to the in-demand global talent they need while also delivering lasting benefits for the Canadian labour market. The program serves two categories of employers:

All streams of the TFW Program, including the GT Stream, receive authority through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations; however, the GT Steam has some unique elements relative to the rest of the Program. It provides eligible employers with client-focused service to assist with the GT Stream application process, a 10 business day service standard for their applications and no requirement to advertise to Canadians before applying.

At the same time, as part of the application process, an employer using the GT Stream is required to develop a company-specific Labour Market Benefits Plan that outlines their measurable commitments to create lasting benefits for the Canadian labour market through activities such as job creation, investment in training and skills for Canadians and permanent residents, and increased diversity in the workforce.

Key program statistics

As of June 11, 2019, over 1,300 GT Stream employers, representing every province, have received approval to hire approximately 5,500 foreign workers and have delivered over 25,000 jobs and over 4,000 paid co-op positions and invested more than $17.9 million in skills and training for Canadians and permanent residents.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

The GT Stream primarily serves innovative Canadian businesses within the ICT and STEM sector. Key stakeholder groups include: (1) tech incubators and accelerators; (2) employer associations, labour groups and third-party representatives such as immigration consultants and lawyers; (3) regional and municipal development agencies; and (4) provincial and territorial ministries responsible for labour, economic development and immigration.

38. Foreign Credential Recognition Program

Description

The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program supports skilled newcomers (that is with post-secondary education) by helping to reduce barriers that keep them from fully participating in the Canadian labour market. The FCR Program focuses on three areas of activities:

More specifically, through contribution funds, the FCR Program funds:

The FCR Program is discretionary and does not have a governing legislation.

Policy lead: Skills and Employment Branch

Service delivered by: Program Operations Branch

List of key stakeholders

The Program’s key stakeholders are provinces and territories, regulatory bodies, immigrant-serving agencies and national professional associations.

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