The UCP government is aiming to get Albertans back to work.
In an announcement Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney revealed the Alberta Jobs Now program, which is part of the province’s Recovery Plan.
The government is providing $185 million, matching federal funds up to $370 million. Kenney said the program is the largest of its kind in Alberta’s history and will help get nearly 22,000 unemployed or underemployed Albertans back to work.
“Workers, families and businesses have been pillars of strength and we’re happy to be able to provide additional support to help them throughout this pandemic,” Kenney said.
“If this program succeeds with helping get Albertans back to work, we’re prepared to extend the program into the new fiscal year next year, to continue to ensure that our economic recovery moves forward.”
Employers will be able to apply for a grant that covers 25 per cent of an employee’s salary for a 52-week period up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee.
The grant can also be used to cover salary or training costs. Employers who hire persons with disabilities will receive a grant 1.5 times higher than the amount they receive for other new employees. The design of the program is to create long-term, permanent jobs.
“Employers will be more likely to employ Albertans if they receive funding to hire and train new employees for the skills they need,” said Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration.
“With support from the Alberta Jobs Now program, employers can afford to hire and train workers for the skills and their business needs to be successful. Albertans have the opportunity to obtain new skills and find good-paying jobs.”
Employers will be able to apply at alberta.ca/jobsnow as of 9 a.m. on Thursday and they can apply for funding for up to 20 new employees and have until Aug. 31 to apply.
A second intake will open on Sept. 15 and close at the end of 2021.
To be eligible for the program, private sector business or non-profit organizations must use the funding to hire unemployed Albertans in a new or vacant position.
The new hire must reside and work in Alberta and must not have worked for the employer within the past 90 days.
“Our economy has seen signs of recovery, and we are working hard to make sure that trend continues,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.
“By encouraging businesses to create and fill jobs and train new employees, we’re getting Albertans back to work sooner and putting money in their pockets that they could spend at local businesses, further driving economic recovery.”