Skills and labour

Fulfilling and well-paying jobs help maintain the vitality of rural communities, but rural Canada has a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Rural communities also face significant labour shortages, especially in sectors like the digital economy or industries where there is high seasonal demand, like agriculture and tourism.

The Government of Canada recognizes these unique challenges and is working to incorporate rural realities in new and renewed skills and labour programs.  

Labour market transfer agreements

Every year, the Government of Canada provides the provinces and territories with approximately $3 billion in funding through the Labour Market Development Agreements and Workforce Development Agreements to help Canadians improve their skills, find a job and keep it.  

Through these agreements, provinces and territories have the flexibility to design and deliver skills training and employment programs that meet the needs of their local labour markets, including in rural communities.

Learn more about Labour Market Transfer Agreements and access information on key employment programs.

Women in Skilled Trades Initiative

The Women in Skilled Trades Initiative focuses on funding projects that aim to recruit and retain women apprentices, as well as help them succeed, in 39 eligible Red Seals trades, found predominately in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Learn more about the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative.

Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream

The Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream, under the Union Training and Innovation Program, supports innovative solutions that help address apprenticeship challenges in the Red Seal trades.

Learn more about the Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream.

Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative

The Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative is for post-secondary students. It helps them find opportunities related to their studies. The initiative focuses on short and intensive training activities that use technology.

Learn more about the Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative.

Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund provides funding for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. The fund aims to create more opportunities for persons with disabilities to take part in community activities, programs and services or to access employment.

Learn more about the Enabling Accessibility Fund..

Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program

The Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program is designed to help Indigenous people improve their skills and find employment.

Learn more about the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program.

Skills and Partnership Fund

The Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) encourages partnerships between Indigenous organizations and industry employers. It supports skills training for Indigenous people that is linked to economic opportunities at the local, regional and national level. SPF is focused on training Indigenous people for industry-specific jobs and is aligned with emerging labour market needs and government priorities.

Learn more about the Skills and Partnership Fund.

Youth Employment and Skills Strategy

The modernized Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which includes the Canada Summer Jobs program, prioritizes projects that support opportunities for youth in rural and remote areas.

Learn more about the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

Job Bank

Job Bank is a national employment service, co-delivered by the provinces and territories. It’s a trustworthy source for jobs available in regions across Canada, including rural communities. It also provides information about local labour markets through job outlooks and keeps workers up to date with the latest labour market news for their region.

Learn more about the Job Bank.

Canada Training Benefit

The Canada Training Benefit helps urban and rural working Canadians find the time and money they need to train, improve their skills and build their careers. The Canada Training Benefit includes an income tax credit for 2019 and subsequent years. This credit, the Canada Training Credit, may be used for eligible tuition and fees paid for courses taken in 2020 or subsequent years.

Learn more about the Canada Training Benefit.

Veterans Education and Training Benefit

The Veterans Education and Training Benefit is for members of the Canadian Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve Force) and members of the Supplementary Reserve who were honourably released on or after April 1, 2006, and meet the “length of service” requirement.

Learn more about the Veterans Education and Training Benefit.