Dear Working Wise:
I can’t find enough qualified Health Care Aides to help care for the residents of the retirement home that I manage. Are there any government programs or funding that help train workers?
Signed, Concerned Caregiver
The Canada-Alberta Job Grant, funded by the federal and provincial governments, helps employers provide the right training to the right people for the jobs that are in demand.
The program is employer-driven, which means employers decide who gets trained and what kind of training is needed for new and existing employees.
Employers are expected to cover one-third of the training costs with the government covering the other two-thirds, up to a maximum of $10,000 in total government contributions per employee per year.
That means an Alberta worker could receive up to a total of $15,000 of new career-related training under the Canada-Alberta Job Grant.
In fact, since the program first started in 2014, more than 2,400 unique employers have used the program to train and employ thousands of Alberta workers.
The program is available to private and not-for-profit employers of all sizes across the province along with First Nations and Métis Settlements. Crown Corporations are also eligible for the grant if they are an employer in a community with a population of 100,000 or less.
Under this criteria, the following two Crown Corporations are eligible: Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) and ATB Financial (Alberta Treasury Branches).
Employers must commit to hiring or continuing to employ the trainee once the training is complete.
Employers are capped at a $300,000 annual maximum to ensure all employers have an opportunity to take advantage of the grant.
Eligible training expenses include tuition, books and supplies and mandatory fees. Staff wages are not eligible.
The program is very flexible. Training can be part time or full time, in the workplace, in a class room, or delivered via distance learning.
However, training must be at least 21 hours in length, delivered by a third-party trainer, be completed within 52 weeks, and result in some sort of credential.
The training must also be incremental—it must be new training that is not already happening or would have happened anyway without the funding.
Most people living in Alberta are eligible to be trained under the grant, but those working here under a temporary work permit are not eligible.
Forms and instructions are available online at albertacanada.com/jobgrant.
If you have any more questions about the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, you can call the helpline toll-free at 1-855-638-9424 or 780-638-9424 in Edmonton.
Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at email@example.com. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services.