About the Women's Employment Readiness pilot program

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

The Women's Employment Readiness (WER) pilot program funds organizations to test new ways to provide pre-employment and training supports for multi-barriered women. The pilot will also involve working with employers to help remove barriers in the workplace for women. The pilot is part of the Government of Canada's plan to strengthen training supports for those hardest hit by the pandemic and was announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement. Total funding for the pilot is $50 million over fiscal years 2021 to 2022 and 2022 to 2023.

Program description

The WER pilot program funds organizations to test new ways to provide pre-employment and training supports to women who face barriers to employment. The pilot will also test methods to help employers remove barriers that women face in the workplace.

The pandemic has had an uneven impact on women. While past recessions have tended to affect the goods sector more heavily the COVID crisis has hit service industries harder, where more women work. In addition, women have borne most of the care impacts of the crisis. To help multi-barriered women, the pilot will focus on 4 groups:

  • racialized and/or Indigenous women
  • women with disabilities
  • women from the LGBTQ2 community, and
  • women who have been out of the workforce for a long time

Funded projects could include providing supports to women taking training in foundational and transferable skills. Examples of such supports are:

  • childcare
  • counseling
  • living allowance
  • transportation

Projects may also include employers who want to make their workplaces more accessible for the 4 groups of women listed above. For example, activities could include identifying barriers women face in the workplace and removing them.
The Government of Canada is committed to using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in developing programs and policies. GBA+ considers how people may experience government policies or initiatives differently. As an example, the factors considered in GBA+ can include:

  • gender
  • race
  • ethnic background
  • mental or physical disability

Using GBA+ to analyze the pilot results will help us to provide better and more inclusive programming in the future. Better programming will help multi-barriered women find and keep good jobs as the labour market starts to recover.

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