The territorial government announced program funding changes Sept. 26, stating that it is simplifying the application process. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Changes come to Yukon government labour market programs

More than 20 programs have become three

More than 20 Yukon government labour market funding programs have been consolidated into three.

The territorial government announced the changes Sept. 26, stating the “modernized” funding programs will have more simplified application processes with expanded eligibility and more flexibility.

The programs provide funding for services and supports aimed at preparing Yukoners for jobs that are in demand.

They will replace the previous 20-plus programs — including the Workplace Supports Program, Employment Services and Skills, the community training fund.

Everything will now fall under three titles — Working Up aimed at those who need support to get and retain a good job with supports ranging from literacy skills to training to apprenticeship programs, Staffing Up for employers to ensure they have labour market foundations to grow as well as find and train qualified staff, and Building Up for groups that provide labour market services, supporting research on the labour market to guide how they serve clients.

Department of Education spokeswoman Susie Ross wrote in an emailed statement the change will not impact any positions with the government. Rather it will reduce the administration work required of staff that came with more than 20 separate programs.

“The new programs provide a more direct, flexible and accessible funding model,” she said.

“Fewer programs reduce the administration required to manage them, allowing us to focus on working more closely with the community to ensure funding is provided where it creates the most impact.”

One of the priorities for the programs is reaching groups under-represented in the labour market including Yukon First Nations citizens, individuals under the age of 30 and over the age of 50, those with disabilities, women in trades and technology, and those who are new to Canada.

First Nations are eligible for funding, with First Nations governments in the process of developing their own labour market funding agreements with the Yukon government for First Nation-led initiatives.

In the 2018/19 year, the previous programs provided funding for 173 apprentices; 41 employers supporting 74 staff in training; 27 individuals who received certificates for employment skills; three service providers offering assistance supports for 6,000 job seekers; and three First Nations providing employment for 400 of their citizens. There have also been 134 disability assessments and 11 training opportunities for those with disabilities and 4,000 workshops and training courses funded.

“The new programs will create more opportunities for projects designed to increase the capacity of Yukon employers to find, hire and keep suitable workers,” Ross said.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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