What this program offers

The Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (EF-OLMC) program supports Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) legal obligations under the Official Languages Act (OLA). The program supports Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC) organizations to identify and respond to the labour market needs of their communities, delivering approaches that are “by and for” their communities, in the spirit of the OLA.

As part of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2023 to 2028: Protection - Promotion - Collaboration, Budget 2023 announced approximately $208 million over 5 years for the expansion of the EF-OLMC program. This includes the introduction of a new Employment Assistance Services (EAS) stream, which will fund OLMC organizations to deliver EAS to their communities based on an understanding of their unique labour market needs.

Funding will be available for the period of fall 2024 to March 31, 2029.

All projects funded under the EF-OLMC - EAS stream will be posted on grants and contributions proactive disclosure web page.

On this page

Program objectives

The objectives of the EF-OLMC - EAS Stream are to:

  • provide EAS to OLMCs through OLMC organizations, based on an understanding of their unique labour market needs (through a "by and for approach"), and
  • integrate these organizations' services into the broader provincial and territorial (PT) skills and employment delivery systems to better support clients' needs, including through communication and two-way referrals

Funding prioirities

The overall policy priorities that guide this stream include:

  • ensuring that individuals living in OLMCs across Canada have access to EAS in their official language of choice, and
  • strengthening OLMC vitality by providing job search assistance, counselling/case management services, unassisted services or other EAS for individuals living in OLMC to find and gain employment

The Department will assess projects comparatively and collectively. Priority may be given to proposed projects that meet one, or a combination of, the following criteria:

  • provide services in more than 1 of the 4 defined EAS activities
  • establish and maintain collaborative relationships with other service providers that contribute to the success of the service model (such as sectors, regions, or industries, or with community/non-profit groups, educational institutions, or other service providers)
  • contribute to pan-Canadian coverage by serving larger areas of OLMC clients, including those living in rural or remote areas, and
  • serve individuals living in OLMCs with intersectional identities (other underrepresented groups such as 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, persons with disabilities, racialized peoples, women or youth)


Here is a list of key terms used within this application guide.

Administrative costs or overhead costs:
Costs related to central administrative functions of the recipient organization to support agreement activities (such as shared postage, telephones, IT maintenance and head office support).
“By and for” approach:
Employment assistance services projects must be designed and implemented by OLMC organizations for individuals living in OLMCs by taking their unique needs into consideration.
An eligible individual who receives one or more EAS that requires direct interaction with the service provider (such as job search assistance, counselling/case management, etc.) and where there is an expectation of follow-up at the end of the intervention to determine if the service was complete and to track any employment-related outcomes.
Cost categories:
This is a way to organize and categorize the costs of a project. Only cost categories listed in the budget detail template can be used in your budget.
Direct delivery:
With the direct delivery model, the Department signs agreements with successful project recipients who carry out the project activities.
Eligible individuals:
Eligible individuals are English-speakers in Quebec, French-speakers outside Quebec, and members of Indigenous communities whose first or chosen official language used – either English or French – is the minority language in their province or territory. Eligible individuals are also limited to Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons who have been granted refugee status and are legally entitled to work in Canada.
Employment assistance services (EAS):

Activities that help individuals prepare for, obtain and/or maintain employment. These services may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • the sharing of labour market information
  • employment needs assessment
  • career planning
  • employment counselling
  • diagnostic assessment of an individual’s needs in relation to participate in training or occupy specific jobs (such as psychological, physical, social, intellectual)
  • job search skills
  • job finding clubs
  • job placement services
  • development of a Return-to-Work Action Plan
  • case management
  • follow-up of a participant in an employment program

Please note that in-depth skills training isn’t an eligible activity under the Program.

Fiscal year:
The period between April 1 (first day of the fiscal year) and March 31 (last day of the fiscal year).
In-depth skills training:
Refers to extensive, practical and technical instruction such as that received from formal classroom education, on-the-job experience, or vocational training courses.
Please note that in-depth skills training isn’t an eligible activity as part of this call for proposals.
An occurrence of an EAS activity being provided to a client.
Official Language Minority Community (OLMC):
A group of people whose first or chosen official language isn’t the majority language in their province or territory – in other words, English-speakers in Quebec and Francophones outside Quebec.
Official Language Minority Community (OLMC) Organization:
An organization whose mission and/or mandate is dedicated primarily to supporting individuals living in OLMCs nationally, provincially, regionally, or locally, including educational or vocational institutions.
An eligible individual who participates in EAS for which little to no direct interaction is required with the service provider (such as unassisted services such as viewing job boards, accessing labour market information, attending a job fair, etc.). This is in reference to when there is no follow-up expected at the end of the service to determine if the service was complete and to track any employment-related outcomes.
Agreements (formal or informal) between 2 or more parties to cooperate via financial or in-kind contribution, to advance their mutual interests.
Performance indicators:
Performance indicators give evidence that results have or haven’t been achieved. They ensure a proper assessment of the progress achieved towards the intended outputs, outcomes, goals, and objectives of the project. They are measurable values that show the progress of the project towards its expected results.
Project costs:

This category includes any costs directly in support of project activities. This would include such things as:

  • advertising
  • conference fees
  • equipment
  • furniture
  • hospitality
  • materials and supplies
  • Rent
  • signage
  • staff training
  • transportation
  • utilities
Rural or remote location:
A population of less than 1,000 (core population) and where no, or very little, access to the services of the closest municipality with a population of 1,000 or more exists.
Referral process:
Connecting an OLMC client with another organization (service provider) that can provide additional supports or training. An effective referral process requires the funding recipient to have a knowledge of the province or territory’s service delivery system. The purpose of the referral process is to make sure that clients receive the support(s) they need beyond EAS to be successful in their pursuit of employment. More information on referrals can be found in the “two-way referrals” definition below.

With the sub-agreement model, the Department may sign agreements with recipients, and in turn, these recipients will redistribute the funds to other organizations to deliver services (commonly known as sub-agreements or sub-projects). Usually, the recipient will do so by managing and delivering an intake process to select organizations to deliver sub-projects.

In the context of the EF-OLMC program, a “sub-agreement” means an agreement concluded between the recipient and another organization (referred to as a “sub-agreement holder”), in which the recipient redistributes program funding to the sub-agreement holder and delegates responsibility for the delivery of all or some of the activities to the sub-agreement holder.

Note: All sub-agreement holders are also required to meet the definition of an OLMC organization to be eligible.

For sub-agreements, the recipient must develop formal agreements that specify how the redistributed program funding will be used and accounted for. Since these sub-agreements are intended to enable the delivery of project activities and support the achievement of the project objectives, they should be guided by and reflect the contribution agreement between Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the recipient. The requirements for sub-agreements will be described in the recipient’s contribution agreement.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that all aspects of the sub-agreement are met, including but not limited to ensuring the eligibility of participants, alignment with eligible activities and expenditures, implementing activities, ensuring accuracy of information shared with participants, realizing results, managing funds, and meeting reporting requirements.

Sub-agreement holder:
In the context of this Program, a “sub-agreement holder” is an organization with which the recipient has signed an agreement (“sub-agreement”), where the recipient redistributes funds and delegates responsibility for all or some project activities to the sub-agreement holder. This funding relationship is strictly between the recipient and the sub-agreement holder; ESDC isn’t a party to agreements with sub-agreement holders.

Note: All sub-agreement holders are also required to meet the definition of an OLMC organization to be eligible.

Sub-project costs:
This cost category is applicable only to ESDC recipients with funding agreements in which they further distribute funding to organizations for projects in support of program objectives. This cost category refers to all direct cost payments made by these recipients to the organizations (“sub-agreement holders”) to which they further distribute funding.
Two-way referrals:
Connecting an OLMC client with another organization (service provider) to provide additional supports or training. Two-way referrals implies that organizations will both send and receive clients. For referrals to be effective, an organization would require knowledge of the service delivery system in the province or territory in which they operate. The purpose of referrals is to ensure that clients receive the support(s) they need beyond EAS to be successful in their pursuit of employment.
Wrap-around supports for participants:
Supports that respond to the unique, and often multiple needs of the participant. These include, but are not limited to:
  • childcare
  • transportation
  • access to technology
  • work clothing
  • any other supports, or combination of supports

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