Call for proposals launched to help Canadians enter the labour market, make a career change or learn new skills

News release

Organizations have until March 9 to apply for funding under the Skills for Success program

January 26, 2022              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Canadian labour market continues to evolve quickly, leaving many workers without the necessary skills to meet on-the-job demands, and many employers struggling to find employees to fill vacancies. To help Canada’s economy recover from the pandemic and build back better, we need to ensure Canadians get the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce. That is why the Government of Canada introduced the Skills for Success program, which helps adult Canadians improve their foundational and transferable skills so they can find high‑quality employment opportunities.

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, launched a call for proposals to provide funding to organizations to develop projects that will increase training opportunities for Canadians now and in the future. The projects funded through Skills for Success will also build the capacity of organizations and employers, and support the work of provinces and territories as the economy recovers.

It is expected that these projects will contribute to an estimated 90,000 job training opportunities, helping deliver on the Government’s commitment to create 500,000 new training and work opportunities for Canadians.

Through this call for proposals, the Government will invest more than $237 million to fund projects under two streams. Eligible activities under the first stream could include developing new training approaches, creating self-assessment tools and providing training resources. Activities under the second stream could include analysis to better understand skills challenges faced by under-represented groups, identifying best practices in how to teach certain skills, or developing case studies of successful training approaches that lead to employment.

Priority will be given to project proposals that respond to the needs of at least one of the following under-represented groups in the labour market: women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, members of official language minority communities, newcomers, and racialized Canadians.

Launched in May 2021, the Skills for Success program focuses on nine main skills that Canadians need to participate, adapt and thrive in learning, work and life. They include foundational skills, like writing, reading and numeracy, and socio-emotional skills, which are the human skills required for effective social interaction, such as collaboration, communication, problem solving, adaptability, and creativity and innovation.


“Our labour market is facing serious, evolving challenges. One of the best investments we can make right now is training more Canadians in the skills that the market is demanding. With the Skills for Success program, we’re supporting organizations across Canada that are equipping workers with the tools they need to not only participate in the workforce of the future, but to thrive in it.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • Currently, 45% of Canadians lack the literacy, numeracy and digital skills that are increasingly necessary to succeed in jobs in the knowledge economy. 

  • It is estimated that a 1% increase in average literacy rates in Canada, over time, would increase the gross domestic product by up to 3% and productivity by up to 5%. Investments in women and individuals with the lowest literacy levels would have the greatest effect on growth.

  • The total available budget for the Skills for Success call for proposals is $237.7 million over three years, which will be allocated as follows:

    • approximately $226.3 million to support projects under Stream 1; and
    • approximately $11.4 million to support Stream 2 projects. 
  • Eligible recipients under this call for proposals include, but are not limited to: 

    • not-for-profit organizations;
    • for-profit organizations, provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives;
    • labour unions;
    • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities); and
    • provincial and territorial governments, institutions, agencies and Crown corporations.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Jane Deeks
Director of Communications
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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