Alberta Jobs Now Program Enhancements a Game-Changer for Job-Seekers Facing Barriers
November 10, 2021 – Since launching in April, the Alberta Jobs Now Program has helped over 14,000 Albertans find work. Yesterday’s announcement by Premier Kenney and Minister of Labour, Tyler Shandro demonstrates the bold action government is taking to create jobs and get people back to work. It’s great news for employers looking to offset their training and staffing needs, including industries most affected by Covid such as the service industry who rely on part-time staffing. It also provides opportunities for people experiencing barriers to enter or re-enter the workforce.
“The Alberta Jobs Now program works for all Albertans seeking employment, but, for people facing barriers such as a physical or cognitive disability, the program’s original structure did not provide employers enough flexibility,” says Kevin McNichol, CEO at Prospect Human Services (Prospect), an Alberta based not-for-profit employment services agency that specializes in working with job-seekers facing barriers. “With the new guidelines we can breakthrough barriers to get more people back to work and help more employers offset hiring costs. It’s a win/win for everyone.”
The original program guidelines called for a minimum of a 30-hour work-week. For some seeking part-time work, thirty hours was a barrier to employment. “We have people who really want to work and can meet job requirements but due to their health or physical circumstances can’t sustain a 30-hour work week. We also have youth in school seeking job experience. The new guidelines allow employers to hire people into 15-hour work-weeks. This means more opportunities for everyone to find a job,” says McNichol.
Since the program launched in April of this year, more than 1120 Albertans sought Prospect’s help to find work, 548 identifying as having some form of disability. A total of 518 secured work, of which 266 identified as having a disability. “We believe everyone who wants to work deserves the opportunity,” says McNichol. “The Government’s expansion of the Alberta Jobs Now program will make it possible for even more people to hear, “You Got The JOB!””
If you’re a results-oriented donor, Prospect is a great option. In 2020 we placed 582 people in jobs, reducing social services costs by approximately $10 million and returning almost $2 million to Alberta in tax dollars.