January 27, 2016 7:31 pm
Updated: January 27, 2016 8:11 pm

Growing demand for Canada-Alberta Job Grants during economic downturn

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology offers a wide variety of corporate training courses that qualify for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant.

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CALGARY – Economists are forecasting more layoffs across Alberta in the first half of 2016 – but other kinds of opportunities are emerging.

The federal and provincial governments are teaming up to bring Alberta’s struggling business community back to school.

The Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) program was launched in the fall of 2014 – not long before oil prices began to nosedive and Alberta’s economy started its rapid decline.

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The grant provides funding for employers on a yearly basis starting every April. A total of $34-million will be earmarked for the endowment by 2018. Over $3-million is left as part of this year’s funding.

The province said it has received about 400 applications per month in the latter half of 2015 and into 2016. That compares to about 330 applications in the beginning of 2015 – an increase of over 20 per cent.

READ MORE: Alberta’s oil and gas veterans look elsewhere for jobs after layoffs

So far, however, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has not seen an increase in applications for most of its programs.

The school offers a wide variety of corporate training courses.

“Our numbers for corporate training aren’t as strong as they have been historically, but we’re finding that they’re training in different areas now,” said Lora Bucsis, marketing analyst for SAIT’s Corporate Development and Applied Research department.

READ MORE: Oil prices to stay under $US100 until 2040, says NEB report

SAIT is launching a new operational excellence course in the next month. Bucsis said demand is shifting away from areas like oil and gas, and into project management and other business-related programming.

“We are finding that some areas are stronger than others, particularly as it relates to productivity and becoming more efficient as an organization,” said Bucsis.

Under CAJG, employers will cover a minimum of one third of direct training costs, up to $10,000.

For a list of SAIT programs that qualify for CAJG funding, visit: http://www.sait.ca/programs-and-courses/canada-alberta-job-grant/cajg-eligible-programs.php

© 2016 Shaw Media

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