Government of Canada Invests in Training for Workers in a Net Zero Economy

Supporting our economy for future generations will mean supporting good, middle class jobs for workers. Canadians workers are already leading in spaces like clean tech, and the Government of Canada is focused on ensuring workers will continue to lead in this space for years and decades to come. This is good for workers, for our economy, and for our environment.

Today, the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Filomena Tassi, announced on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, that the Government of Canada is investing $46.5 million in Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2). Led by the Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology, C2R2 is a coalition focused on developing demand-driven workforce training solutions for a net-zero emissions economy through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program.

C2R2 has launched Quick Train Canada, a project that provides Canadians with access to fully funded micro-credentials to help increase their skills and competencies. The training will address workforce development needs within the agriculture, clean tech, construction, natural resources and environment, and transportation sectors through 80 micro-credential courses.

This project aims to provide training for 10,000 Canadians. Of this target, 3,000 workers currently employed will receive upskilling in the latest technologies and 1,000 new entrants, with little or no previous sector training, will receive training. Additionally, it will reduce barriers for learners from under-represented groups.

First announced in Budget 2021, the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program helps key sectors of the economy to implement solutions that address current and emerging workforce needs. It does so by funding organizations to deliver sectoral projects that focus on a range of industry-driven activities. These include training and reskilling workers, helping employers retain and attract a skilled and diverse workforce and other creative solutions to help sectors address labour market needs. It also supports equity-deserving groups by promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce and providing wraparound supports as needed to those facing barriers to participation.

See related article: BMW Group to Source Aluminium from Sustainable Production in Canada from 2024


”Everyone should have a good job they can be proud of. Through the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, we’re investing in incredible organizations, like Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, which is helping workers and employers get the rapid training they need, for the workforce of today and of tomorrow”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Canadian workers are some of the most talented in the world – and those skills are exactly what will build a strong economy for decades to come. I’m so happy to see the micro-credential courses at Mohawk College teaching innovation to so many Canadians across multiple sectors.”

– Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Filomena Tassi

“As Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy, traditional jobs are changing and new jobs are emerging that were never imagined just a generation ago. We, along with our partners in the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, are well equipped to develop and deliver the programs needed to prepare our workforce for those exciting careers. We are very grateful for the strong support of Employment and Social Development Canada and the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program as we work together to prepare Canadians for a promising future.”

– President and CEO of Mohawk College (where C2R2’s administration and secretariat are managed) Ron J. McKerlie

Quick facts

  • As of fall 2022, Canadian employers were seeking to fill over 1 million job vacancies. A significant number of vacancies (243,400) are in the professional, scientific, technical, construction and manufacturing sectors, which were already seeing shortages before the pandemic.
  • It is anticipated that population aging and declining participation will exacerbate labour shortages over the long-term, with 600,000 workers that may retire over the next three years.
  • Through a series of national climate plans since 2016—including the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, the first under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act—the Government of Canada has committed over $120 billion to climate action and low-carbon economic development. 
  • Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery is a coalition of leading colleges, CEGEPs, institutes and polytechnics from across Canada. The coalition is working together to support the rapid development and deployment of new curriculum and research initiatives to support resilience in our towns and cities across Canada.

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