Helping Yukon workers develop the skills they need to find good jobs

News release

December 18, 2020              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

As the Canadian economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, workers are facing new challenges. Yukon residents and all Canadians need access to training and employment supports to develop new skills and find good jobs.

Today, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, and Yukon’s Minister of Education, Tracy-Anne McPhee highlighted that the Government of Canada has provided an additional $1.5 billion for training Canadian workers, through the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) with provinces and territories. The Government of Yukon has received $3 million to help respond to the increased number of Yukon residents looking to re-enter the workforce, particularly those in hard-hit sectors and groups disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. Supports include skills training, on-the-job training, employer-sponsored training, financial assistance and benefits, employment counselling and services, and job opportunities. This funding is in addition to the $3.4 billion already being provided to support Canadian workers under the Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and WDAs in 2020–2021.

Building on the strong delivery networks and programs already in place in Yukon, these investments will ensure quick access to training for Yukon residents, particularly workers and employers in sectors hard hit by COVID-19.

As a result of this investment, the Government of Yukon will be able to:provide support to preserve jobs in critical and hard-hit sectors, including tourism, retail trade, food productivity and travel services;

  • provide support to preserve jobs in critical and hard-hit sectors, including tourism, retail trade, food productivity and travel services;
  • provide a Student Technical Support Payment to adult students who are approved for funding under existing programs to ensure they have continued access to flexible and blended learning during this time; and,
  • continue to work with Yukon First Nations, to ensure that First Nation ways of knowing, doing and being inform program priorities.

In the 2020 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to making the largest training investment in Canadian history and announced that it will launch a campaign to create over one million jobs, restoring employment to pre-pandemic levels. This will be done by using a range of tools, including immediate training to quickly equip workers. As a first step, this one-time investment through the WDAs will help contribute to this goal and create a stronger workforce. 

To further support recovery efforts, the Government of Canada is also ensuring that Canadian workers can get the support they need under the LMDAs and the WDAs with provinces and territories by broadening the scope of eligible costs to include things such as the costs related to online training, accommodating new physical distancing requirements and providing mental health supports.

As we work toward our economic recovery from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to support the people of Yukon and help them grow their potential. By working together with the Government of Yukon, we can build a stronger workforce and position the country for an economic recovery that leaves no Canadian behind.


“Working with the Government of Yukon, the Government of Canada is getting Yukon’s workers the training they need to get good jobs as our country cautiously recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. Now more than ever, we need to strengthen workers’ futures and help them succeed as our economy recovers and evolves.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“We are pleased to be able support Yukon employers through our labour market agreements with the Government of Canada. This additional funding and program flexibility will help us deliver targeted supports to individuals and employers who are particularly disadvantaged by the pandemic and match available workers to changing employment opportunities. The Government of Yukon is committed to supporting Yukon businesses adapt to the current situation and remain in operation as we manage through the pandemic and work toward economic recovery.”
– Tracy-Anne McPhee, Yukon’s Minister of Education

Quick facts

  • Each year, the Government of Canada provides $3 billion in funding to help Canadians improve their skills and find and keep employment through the LMDAs and WDAs. Budget 2017 provided an additional investment in these agreements of up to $625 million annually, between 2017 and 2023. 

  • Following today’s announcement, total spending on programs for persons with disabilities through WDAs will increase by about $425 million. 

  • Based on the latest job numbers from the Labour Force Survey, Canada’s labour market gained another 62,000 jobs in November 2020. The national unemployment rate was 8.5% in November, down slightly from 8.9% in October and 13.7% in May. 

  • Yukon’s unemployment rate for November 2020 was 4.2%, which represents 900 unemployed Yukoners who are work-ready. This is in addition to those who were under-represented in the labour market prior to the pandemic, who continue to require support.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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Susie Ross
Communications Analyst
Department of Education
Government of Yukon

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