Grants for Hiring Newcomers
- The Canadian workforce will see a shift as Canada welcomes a record number of new residents in the coming years.
- Newcomer hiring grants tend to offer more funding compared to other hiring grant programs.
- New hiring programs are prioritizing newcomer candidates, so consider adjusting your hiring strategy.
The government of Canada has priorities that are reflected in the funding opportunities available to small and medium businesses (SMEs). In recent years, immigration is increasingly becoming a topic of focus as households shrink and baby boomers begin to exit the workforce. Canada aims to welcome over 430,000+ permanent residents each year until 2024 to avoid facing a worker shortage. This is part of the government’s ambitious immigration targets set in the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan.
For these targets to be met, new Canadian residents must be integrated into the workforce. Given the fact that 98.1% of businesses in Canada are SMEs, the most logical strategy is to incentivize small businesses to hire newcomers. We are already seeing growth in programs designed to help recent immigrants enter the workforce, and expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.
If you’re looking to hire in the coming months, get ready to apply for some grants! To maximize the support you could receive from the government, you may reconsider your hiring process. There are resources available for employers looking to hire newcomers. This includes:
Let’s take a look at some hiring grants that serve to help newcomers find job opportunities, and concurrently support employers in the talent acquisition process.
List of Grants that Incentivize Hiring Newcomers
Most commonly, hiring grants are structured as wage subsidies. This means that the grant program will cover a percentage of the employee’s wages up to a maximum amount. Certain programs prioritize newcomers by offering higher coverage for these new starters. Let’s take a look:
BioTalent Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)
BioTalent is a federal program that offers wage subsidies to biotech and healthcare employers hiring students in biotech-related roles. Applicants are eligible for 50% of wages up to $5,000 per participant, or 70% of wages up to $7,000 for newcomer students. The goal of the program is to give students in with limited experience a chance to work in the STEM field.
Career Ready Student Placement Program (SWPP)
Career Ready provides a wage subsidy for employers that hire post-secondary students in meaningful roles that promote tech skills development across any industry. Applicants are eligible for 50% of wages up to $5,000, or 70% of wages up to $7,000 for newcomer students. The program aims to build the talent bench of Canadian businesses and contribute to developing the skills of the next generation in Canada’s workforce.
AgriTalent Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)
AgriTalent is a federal program that offers wage subsidies to agriculture employers looking to hire students for a work-integrated learning experience. Employers can apply for 50% of wages up to $5,000, or 70% of wages up to $7,000 for newcomer students. The goal of this program is to strengthen connections between agriculture employees and post-secondary institutions, bring diversity and new ideas to the industry, and expose students to careers in agriculture that might not have previously considered.
CLAC Apprenticeship Support Program
The CLAC Apprenticeship Support Program (CASP) provides $5,000 in funding to SMEs that hire new first-year apprentices in one of 39 Red Seal Trades. This program is industry-agnostic and available in all provinces and territories except Quebec. For newcomer apprentices, applicants are eligible for an additional $5,000 in funding. No claims process would be required as funding is distributed at the beginning.
Eco Canada – Apprenticeship Service Program
The Apprenticeship Service Program from ECO Canada is a federal program that offers up to $5,000 to help employers onboard and train new first-year apprentices. The goal of the program is to help address the shortage of skilled tradespeople in Canada. For newcomer apprentices, applicants are eligible for an additional $5,000 per apprentice. Employers do not need to be in an environmentally related sector to be eligible.
Career Launcher Apprenticeship Program
This Career Launcher program provides $5,000 to help employers in the construction and manufacturing sectors hire first-year apprentices in one of 39 Red Seal Trades. This federal program offers an additional $5,000 for employers who hire newcomer apprentices. It’s unique because the grant is not tied to the apprentice’s wages, and can be used in a variety of ways.
The apprenticeship programs above are delivered by three different organizations, but are part of the same funding initiative. It is important to note that the apprenticeship programs are hiring incentives, which differs to traditional wage subsidies. Hiring incentives are often issued in advance as opposed to paid out in the form of reimbursements; they also give employers more flexibility on how the funding could be spent.
List of Grants for Hiring Newcomers Only
While some hiring grants offer additional funding for newcomer hires, some programs will only support newcomer candidates. Let’s dive in!
The iAdvance program provides a wage subsidy to employers hiring skilled newcomers with technology-related backgrounds. Employers can be from any industry, however, funded positions must be related to digital information and communication technology (ICT) roles. It offers a wage subsidy of 70% to a maximum of $15,000 for employers located in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.
Environmental Foreign Talent Development Program (EFTD)
The Environmental Foreign Talent Development Program is a federal program delivered by ECO Canada and offers funding to employers seeking to hire newcomers for full-time environmentally-related roles. The program provides funding of up to $15,000 for new, permanent roles. The goal of the program is to help newcomers remove barriers to employment and help employers access experienced professionals with international work experience.
Welcoming Newcomers Wage Subsidy Program
The Welcoming Newcomers Wage Subsidy Program provides employers in the electricity sector with a wage subsidy to hire newcomers to Canada in full-time roles. This federal program offers a wage subsidy of 50% up to $10,000. The purpose of the program is to help newcomers integrate into the Canadian workforce and relieve the labour demand shortages in the industry.
Skilled Newcomer Internships for the Bio-Economy Program
The Skilled Newcomer Internships for the Bio-Economy Program helps employers in the bio-economy hire internationally educated professionals (IEPs) and newcomers to Canada by covering 75% of the employee’s salary up to $20,000. This federal program provides participants with free enrolment in BioTalent’s training courses and gives them access to the BioSkills Recognition Program.
While there are many programs to support hiring newcomers to Canada, it’s important to note that not all of them are open at the same time. Some programs fill up quickly, while others operate on a completely different interval. It’s always important to check the program announcements for changes before you plan your grant strategy.
Canada’s workforce is on the cusp of a major shift. As the baby boomers begin to retire, Canada needs to find ways to address the gap in workers so small businesses can continue to grow. One of the ways to do this is by increasing the number of hiring grant programs and incentives for hiring newcomers to Canada. If you’re looking to hire in the next year, you may reconsider your hiring practices to ensure you’re methods are inclusive.
At Granted, we’re always keeping our eyes open when it comes to grant funding trends. This helps us guide our clients so they can evolve their grant and business strategy as the workforce, and government goals, shift.
If you’re a small business in Canada and you have yet to leverage grant funding – you’re missing out! Head over to our Grant Calculator to see how much funding your small business could be getting.