This has been a busy week for budgets with both the Federal and Provincial budgets released. And there is quite a bit of promising news, with support initiatives to help address tourism workforce recovery efforts, like the extension of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program that will keep workers attached to employers. We know that some communities have been hit harder than others and future workforce planning will be important as a recovery strategy.
In addition to further funding initiatives in the Federal budget to support Tourism, Hospitality, Arts and Culture, these initiatives are aligned with tourism workforce recovery (extracts directly from the budget report):
- Ensuring Communities Recover Through Skills Training and Workforce Planning. ($55 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to Employment and Social Development Canada for a Community Workforce Development Program). The program will support communities to develop local plans that identify high potential growth organizations and connect these employers with training providers to develop and deliver training and work placements to upskill and reskill jobseekers to fill jobs in demand.) Although tourism is not mentioned in the detailed text (other sectors are), we will be closely looking at it
- Helping Youth and Students Build Job Skills and Connect with Employers: $721 million in the next two years to help connect them with employers and provide them with quality job opportunities.
- Student Work Placement Program: $239.8 million in the Student Work Placement Program in 2021-22 to support work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students. This funding would increase the wage subsidy available for employers to 75 per cent, up to $7,500 per student, while also increasing employers’ ability to access the program. (We just secured an agreement with GOC on this program for tourism.)
- Youth Employment and Skills Strategy: $109.3 million in 2022-23 for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to better meet the needs of vulnerable youth facing multiple barriers to employment, while also supporting over 7,000 additional job placements for youth.
- Canada Summer Jobs: $371.8 million in new funding for Canada Summer Jobs in 2022-23 to support approximately 75,000 new job placements in the summer of 2022.
- Enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit: Expand the Canada Workers Benefit to support about 1 million additional Canadians in low-wage jobs, helping them return to work and increasing benefits for Canada’s most vulnerable.
We are grateful for the support of government to help support our industry during this trying time.