The Alberta Government has increased funding into two programs that will hopefully push the unemployment rate down.
One is the Alberta Jobs Now program which is in its second application intake period. There are changes designed to help employers meet their labour needs and provide more Albertans with the skills they need to land successful careers.
The program is a key component of Alberta’s Recovery Plan to create jobs and diversify the economy by strengthening the workforce with skills training and employment grants.
“What I love about this, is that it's not just about putting dollars in and doing some sort of supplemental bucks like what was needed during COVID-19,” explained MLA for Chestermere-Strathmore, Leela Sharon Aheer. “This is actually a key component to any sort of recovery because if you look at diversifications, let's take oil and gas for example. In the film industry, do you know how many of those oil and gas jobs are transferable? There are so many.”
Employers can apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. The grant can also be used to cover salary or training costs.
“So, there's $185 million in funding available through federal transfers again. That means that we can then leverage those dollars to our taxpayers and give them grants that cover 25 per cent of their employee's salary for an entire year.”
A third application intake period will open in 2022.
The second program brings a combined total of nearly $50 million to be provided to 23 Alberta projects to advance innovation that will help Alberta become an even stronger leader in clean energy technologies, reduce emissions over the near and long term, and create jobs for Albertans.
Funding for these projects is being delivered through the Alberta Innovates TIER Economic Recovery Program.
“The tiered funding that is coming from Alberta Innovates, could potentially create 1,300 jobs. And, of course, this is not Alberta creating jobs. This is making space for Albertans to create jobs. We are a resilient, amazing group of people.”
The approved projects will provide technological solutions for Alberta’s energy industry, spanning areas like oil and gas operations, partial upgrading, hydrogen production, recycling, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.
Alberta Innovates expects these 23 projects will support a total of 1,307 project-related jobs for Albertans while contributing $169 million to the province’s GDP.