April 06, 2021

Record Funding To Protect And Build A Strong Labour Force

A strong economic recovery will require a strong business community and a strong labour force. Budget 2021-22 provides increased support to help employers develop, recruit and train workers and to help individuals prepare for, obtain and maintain employment.

"We have worked closely with the business community over the past year and provided significant supports to help them navigate the impacts of the pandemic," Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  "This budget provides record support to help build a strong workforce, which will be critical to the province's economic recovery and future economic growth."

The Immigration and Career Training Budget includes record funding for workforce development of more than $39 million.  This includes $17 million in one-time funding from the federal government for additional programs and projects that support recovery efforts in response to COVID-19.

Record funding of nearly $18 million is also being provided for Employment Assistance for People with Disabilities.  This increased funding will provide people with disabilities with the supports and skills required for participation in the labour force, remove barriers that people with disabilities face in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment, and assist employers who include people with disabilities in their workforce.  One-time federal funding of $8.0 million is included in this record budget.

Funding for workforce development will also will support additional programs and services for individuals to address barriers to employment and successfully develop a career in Saskatchewan.  These include vocational assessments, career counselling, job readiness supports, job coaching and other individualized employment related supports.

The Budget also provides a record $8.1 million in funding, an increase of $700,000, for the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant (CSJG) to help ensure employers have a skilled workforce with the competencies needed to remain productive and competitive.  The CSJG helps businesses and non-profit organizations train new or existing employees for available jobs and provides more opportunities for unemployed and underemployed workers to receive training.  Demand for the CSJG remains strong and continues to support employers' workforce needs as the economy recovers.  More than 2,500 employees received training under the program in 2020-21.

The budget provides continued funding to support employers and individuals as the province recovers from the economic impacts of COVID-19.  This includes the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, support programs for newcomers, Adult Basic Education and the Provincial Training Allowance.