Federal government looks to overhaul job grant system

Federal government looks to overhaul job grant system

A sweeping review of every grant program is under way, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk says.

OTTAWA—The federal government is reviewing every grant program designed to help groups provide skills and job training to make sure they help workers actually get jobs, the labour minister says.

There are thousands of employment grants handed out annually to groups across the country that, for instance, help connect workers with multiple university degrees to available jobs, or provide literacy training for older workers.

Those programs have varying rates of success, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said.

Federal government looks to overhaul job grant systemShe said the requirements for funding grants are going to change to mesh with the Liberal government’s priority to create jobs for young people and aboriginals.

“We are moving, changing priorities, looking at each individual granting program and trying to align them with our priority of youth, indigenous folks, diversity in the workplace and better labour-market connections so that we never need a temporary foreign worker in Canada,” Mihychuk said.

Among the programs under review is the youth employment strategy, to which the Liberals have committed an additional $165.4 million this year.

The federal government on Friday unveiled 195 youth employment grants that total more than $65.7 million for skills-training and job-help programs across the country, with Ontario getting $28.4 million, the most of any province.

The Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon each got one program grant, totalling almost $2.2 million.

Mihychuk said the arduous process to apply for funding is partly to blame for the lack of projects in northern and rural regions.

She said the application process for groups seeking grants to provide young people with skills training should be simpler.

“You need to be a professional to fill out these forms and when you’re looking at northern regions, rural, they may not have the capacity to access the grants because you can’t fill out the darn form,” Mihychuk said.

“That’s another area where I have an issue. We want to change that.”

Mihychuk said the details of the grants are not always readily available to the public, but the Liberals plan to make the funding public when it is announced.

More than two-thirds of the new projects are in ridings held by the Liberals, who have more than half the seats in the House of Commons.

The money was approved under rules set by the previous Conservative government.

Mihychuk said the next round of announced grants will be under the new Liberal policy.

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