Budget 2017 supports lifelong learning for a changing job market
Government of Canada makes it easier for adult learners to get post-secondary education support
March 27, 2017 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Employment and Social Development Canada
Budget 2017 is the next step in the Government's long-term plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. Canada is home to a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, but as the demands of the workplace change, so too must the education and skills workers bring to their jobs. The changes in the economy—both here at home and around the world—present incredible opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
Today in Dartmouth, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced Budget 2017 measures that encourage a culture of lifelong learning so that Canadians at all stages of their careers can adapt to the changing job market by upgrading their skills or their education.
A strong economy starts with a strong middle-class. When middle class Canadians have more money to save, invest, and grow the economy, everyone benefits. The Government of Canada’s new Innovation and Skills Plan will create opportunities for lifelong learning, so that the next job is also a better job.
Building on last year’s budget measures to help make post-secondary education more affordable, including for adult learners looking for new skills, the Government of Canada is expanding eligibility for Canada Student Grants for students attending school part-time and students with children. Together, these changes are expected to make an additional 23,000 students eligible for Canada Student Grants and Loans each year. A new pilot project will test even more new approaches to make it easier for adult learners to qualify for Canada Student Grants and Loans.
These measures are expected to benefit Canadian women in particular, who often strive to improve their career prospects while balancing family responsibilities Women represent nearly two thirds of the Canada Student Loan Program’s part-time recipients, and approximately four out of five students receiving the Canada Student Grant for students with dependent children are women.
The Government will further support unemployed adults who are retraining by making better use of existing EI flexibilities so that they can enroll and train without fear of losing the critical benefits they may depend on to support themselves and their families.
The Government of Canada will also significantly boost federal support to provinces and territories by $2.7 billion over six years to help more unemployed and underemployed Canadians in every corner of the country get the training and employment supports they need to find and keep good jobs.
As part of Canada’s Innovation and Skills plan, Budget 2017 also proposes further supporting retraining for Canadians, especially underrepresented groups such as youth, Indigenous Canadians and women, as well as creating a new organization to support skills development and measurement in Canada.
“Budget 2017 continues our plan to strengthen the middle class—the heart of Canada’s economy. In an innovative economy with a job market that’s changing fast, lifelong learning matters. That’s why we’re helping people of all ages develop the skills they’ll need to find and keep good, well-paying jobs.”
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“The investments announced in Budget 2017 make good quality jobs in the skilled trades within reach of more Nova Scotians. These are the kind of investments that unions have long pursued and we are pleased to see that our voices are being heard.”
- John Kelly, Business Manager, UA Local 56
Budget 2017 will provide $59.8 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $17 million per year thereafter, which is expected to make an additional 10,000 part-time students eligible for Canada Student Grants and Loans each year.
Budget 2017 will invest $107.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $29.3 million per year thereafter, which is expected to make an additional 13,000 students eligible for Canada Student Grants for students with dependent children.
The Government proposes an additional $287.2 million over three years to launch a pilot project to test new approaches to make it easier for adult learners to qualify for student financial assistance.
The Government of Canada currently transfers almost $3 billion annually to provinces and territories to support employment and skills training programs. Budget 2017 proposes investing an additional $1.8 billion over six years, starting in 2017–18, to expand the Labour Market Development Agreements and an additional $900 million over six years for new Workforce Development Agreements.
The budget also proposes to help more unemployed adults by providing $132.4 million over four years and $37.9 million per year ongoing to expand flexibilities within the Employment Insurance (EI) program so that eligible claimants can pursue self-funded training and maintain their EI status.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
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