Canada announces more support to students for Coronavirus
Posted on April 25, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all sections of society in the affected countries. The government of Canada recognizes this. It has announced a series of measures to help students in the country so that they have the required financial aid to tide over the crisis.
Summer Jobs Program:
Canada’s Summer Jobs Program is an initiative of the government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy. Under this program, non-profit organizations, public sector employees and private small businesses with 50 or fewer employees get funding to create summer jobs for full-time students.
Eligibility criteria for the summer jobs program:
Candidate must be between 15 and 30 years of age
Must be registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year and have an intention to return as a full-time student in the next academic year
Must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
Must have the legal permission to work in Canada
Openings under the summer jobs programs are advertised by mid-March or early April. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian government has introduced some temporary changes to the Summer Jobs Program.
The temporary changes to the program include:
- Increase wage subsidy for private and public sector employees so that they can receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee. The minimum wage subsidy of 100 percent was previously only available only to not-for-profit employers;
- An extension to the end date of employment from 28 August 2020 to 28 February 2021 to make up for the delay in the start date of the summer jobs due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Enabling employers to change their programs and job schedules to support public services; and enabling employers to recruit staff on a part-time basis (i.e. fewer than 30 hours a week). Previously employers had to hire for full-time jobs (i.e. between 30 and 40 hours a week).
Canada’s government has earmarked $263 million in support for the 2020 Canada Summer Jobs initiative. The investment will help generate up to 70,000 opportunities for young people between the ages of 15 and 30 and the government will collaborate with employers to discuss employment choices representing the current public health advice.
Government’s help to students:
The government of Canada has recognized that the job prospects of students and recent graduates will be affected by the closing down of businesses and the economic impact of Coronavirus pandemic. The government has announced a 9 billion dollars package of new measures to help students. Other measures to help students include:
- Increase the Canada Student Grants to a maximum of $6,000 for all eligible full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants will also be expanded for students with permanent disabilities, and for students with dependents.
- Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by increasing the maximum weekly amount from $210 to $350 that can be offered to a student in 2020-21.
- Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships and complement current federal research grants by offering $291.6 million to federal funding councils to assist students and postdoctoral fellows.
- The State also plans to expand job prospects for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council.
While acknowledging that the Coronavirus pandemic will limit the employment opportunities for students, the government is presenting an opportunity for the students and youth to take part in national service activities during the pandemic such as contact tracing. They can work in jobs that will develop their skills.
The government is keen to recognize the contribution of students to COVID-19 response activities by providing support through the Canada Student Service Grant which will provide financial aid to support student’s post-secondary education costs in the fall.
To support international students the government will lift the limitation that requires foreign students to work only a maximum of 20 hours a week while classes are in session, provided they work in a critical facility or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure or supply of food or other vital goods.