Government of Canada invests in key sectors to help boost economic recovery and create jobs

News release

January 22, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

As the Government of Canada continues to address the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19, it is also working toward a strong economic recovery that will create new jobs and opportunities for workers and businesses alike. The Government is working to address current and future skills shortages by making targeted investments in sectors that will be key to Canada’s plan to build back better.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the Government is investing $72 million over three years as part of  the Sectoral Initiatives Program's existing funding.

Distributed through a call for proposals, which will remain open for six weeks, this investment will fund sector-specific projects to help Canadian workers gain skills and access resources. It will also help businesses and networks scale up strategies to drive job growth and create standards for education and certification purposes.

With the support of industry and labour partners, the Government will build on its work to help key sectors address their current and future workforce needs through at least one of three approaches.

The first approach focuses on ensuring Canadians have access to job tools and resources so that they can make informed decisions about their career path. Projects that receive funding under this approach will have the goal of helping employers, Canadians looking for work, students and educators make informed decisions about hiring, skills training and career choices.

The second approach is the development of projects that offer training to workers looking to upgrade their skills or start a new career.

The third approach focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses meet their hiring needs through the development of new strategies, or the scaling-up of proven workforce development strategies.

This announcement builds on the Government’s commitment to creating one million jobs and making the largest investment in training for workers in Canadian history. An inclusive approach to Canada’s recovery from the pandemic that takes into account the various challenges workers have faced during this crisis, will enable Canadians to find and keep good jobs and support our economy for years to come.


“Canadian workers and employers are facing new and evolving challenges, brought on and exacerbated by the pandemic. With some sectors experiencing the impacts more than others, we are taking additional steps to help Canadians get back on their feet. We have an opportunity not just to support Canadians and businesses, but also to grow their potential. With a comprehensive and bold approach to job creation, we will build back better.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • The call for proposals will remain open for six weeks, with a closing date of March 4, 2021.

  •  Eligible recipients include:

    •  not-for-profit organizations
    • for-profit organizations
    • Indigenous organizations
    • provincial, territorial and municipal governments, institutions, agencies or Crown corporations
  • Eligible organizations may submit more than one application to the call for proposals. 

  • Additional consideration will be given to projects that help reduce barriers to entry into the labour market for persons with disabilities, women, youth, Indigenous people, newcomers or visible minorities. 

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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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