Backgrounder: Sectoral Initiatives Program


The Sectoral Initiatives Program is a grants and contributions program with a mandate to help key sectors of the Canadian economy identify, forecast and address their human resources and skills issues. The Program provides funding to stakeholders to develop and distribute sector-specific labour market intelligence, national occupational standards, skills certification and accreditation systems, and innovative workforce development approaches while also promoting the participation of under-represented groups.

The Program funds multi-year stakeholder-based projects in key economic sectors to advance the Canadian labour market.

Taking into account the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Sectoral Initiatives Program call for proposals is considering a wider variety of projects compared to past years.

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • researching labour market information to provide insights to help economic recovery;
  • developing and implementing stakeholder and employer networks;
  • creating skills matching, job search and recruitment tools to support the transition of displaced workers to in-demand occupations within or across sectors;
  • scaling up proven or promising workforce development strategies to assist employers with recruitment, skills development, diversity inclusion, retention and productivity;
  • researching and forecasting labour market trends and emerging requirements by sector;
  • developing or updating national occupational standards for education or certification purposes; and,
  • developing or updating certification or accreditation regimes that are industry validated.

Each sector is experiencing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic differently. By making investments in sector-specific projects, through the Sectoral Initiatives Program, the Government is helping key sectors to address challenges that are unique to their businesses and workers, helping them through the recovery stage.

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