Working and unemployed Canadians get extra support to return to school
Skills Boost initiative meeting the unique needs of adult learners looking to upgrade skills
London, ON, February 23, 2018: When Canadians have the opportunity to go to school or access training while better balancing family responsibilities, they are better placed to find and keep good jobs. Making post-secondary education more affordable for Canadians is how we will continue to grow our middle class and strengthen our economy.
That’s why Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West, was at Fanshawe College today to highlight expanded access to Canada Student Grants for part-time students through the Government of Canada’s Skills Boost initiative on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
Skills Boost is a new plan to give adult learners the support they need to succeed in the workforce. Through a new $1,600-per-year Canada Student Grant and new flexibilities for Employment Insurance, going back to school will be within reach for 43,000 more Canadians in the middle class, as well as those working hard to join it.
Skills Boost includes several measures announced in Budget 2017 that will be available for the school year beginning this fall as part of a $287.2 million three-year pilot project. Students eligible for the Canada Student Grant for Full-Time Students and who have been out of high school for at least 10 years will receive an additional $1,600 per school year ($200 per month) in top-up funding. An estimated 43,000 low- and middle-income Canadians will benefit from the top-up funding in the 2018–19 academic year. And, for the first time, working and unemployed Canadians whose employment situation has significantly changed from the previous year can see their current income used to assess Canada Student Grant eligibility. This means a person who experiences a drop in income won’t be unfairly disqualified for assistance based on their previous year’s earnings.
As well, starting this academic year, nearly 10,000 more part-time students from low- and middle-income families will benefit from up to $1,800 in non‑repayable grants per year and up to $10,000 in loans. Additionally, access to grants for part-time students with children will be expanded allowing them to benefit from up to $1,920 per year in grants.
Expanded access to Canada Student Grants for full-time and part-time students and students with dependants helps more Canadians afford post-secondary education. These measures will 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 Loans Program’s part-time recipients, while approximately four out of five students receiving the Canada Student Grant for students with dependent children are women.
“Helping more Canadians afford post-secondary education will help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class. Far too many Canadians face challenges when pursuing post-secondary education—not only because of the cost of education itself but also because of the financial pressures and time constraints of supporting our families. Our government has Canadians covered, no matter their circumstance—whether they are going to college or university for the first time, returning to school or upgrading their skills.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
“For the first time, Canada Student Grant eligibility will be based on this year’s income rather than last year’s income to help assess the reality of a person’s current situation. We are also expanding access to Canada Student Grants for part-time students and students with dependent children. This is a game changer – particularly for women, who are often trying to improve their career prospects while continuing to balance their family responsibilities.”
– Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West
“Fanshawe is committed to providing leading-edge programs and preparing students for careers that meet the labour market needs of today and the future. We are pleased the Government of Canada is offering a plan that gives adult learners the support they need to go back to school and succeed in the workforce.”
– Peter J. Devlin, Fanshawe College President
The Government of Canada is investing:
$107.4 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $29.3 million per year thereafter, to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants for students with dependants.
$59.8 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $17 million per year thereafter to expand eligibility for Canada Student Grants for Part-Time Students and to increase the threshold for eligibility for Canada Student Loans for part-time students.
Expanded access to Canada Student Grants for students with dependants, starting in the 2018–19 academic year, allows more:
full-time students with children to receive up to $200 per month per child; and
part-time students with children to receive up to $1,920 per year in grants.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Office of Kate Young M.P.
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