The COVID-19 crisis has led to unprecedented job losses. According to a recent Angus Reid study, 44% of Canadian households reported having lost work as early as March 25.
We knew we had a responsibility to help Canadians and their employers rebound. Our School has earned a national reputation for developing relevant, engaging programs for people looking to launch, advance or change careers in in-demand fields such as Cyber Security, User Experience (UX) Design and Data Analytics.
During difficult economic times, an increasing number of adults turn to university education as a proactive step to enhance careers. We immediately increased capacity for our online, accelerated certificate programs starting this May to address this need.
But, with the unprecedented difficulties Canadians from coast to coast are enduring, we knew we had to do more to help people, wherever they live in Canada, return to the workforce faster, more confident, and better prepared.
Introducing the Continuing Studies Emergency Benefit
As an urgent response to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Continuing Studies has launched the Continuing Studies Emergency Benefit. The Benefit will help remove financial barriers that prevent qualified people gain immediate access to the high-quality university credentials that employers value. We will award seventeen Canadians with $1,500 toward their School of Continuing Studies certificate tuition. This $25,500 Benefit program is immediately available to Canadian workers who have unexpectedly lost their jobs or are facing financial difficulty due to the on-going pandemic.
Anyone who has been approved for the recently launched Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) can apply for the Continuing Studies Emergency Benefit, and the Benefit can be applied to any online certificate program that starts in May.
In addition to workers, this benefit will support Canadian employers. Each of the eligible certificate programs has been designed and delivered with industry experts to address critical and growing skills gaps in the Canadian labour market.
Our online certificate programs are tied to high demand careers. There are many high skills jobs available in Canada, but not enough people qualified to fill them. Although Canadians are facing high unemployment, layoffs, and downsizing due to COVID-19 the need to fill the skills gap isn’t going away. All of our programs are designed with employers and are in fields where there is a significant and sustained shortage of qualified candidates.
The Benefit will support Canadians who want to reskill or upskill in these high-demand fields, allowing them to stay competitive and seize opportunities during and after the crisis. With our unique accelerated program designs, our students can confidently complete their credential in time for the rebound of the labour markets. Students who chose a part-time program can be prepared to reenter the workforce whenever opportunity knocks without putting their studies on pause.
The Benefit is another response we have implemented in addition to our recently launched York University Emergency Bursary, which provides financial support to our current students who are facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19.
How to apply for the Benefit?
If your income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, we encourage you to apply. Please visit our webpage for additional details on eligibility. Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2020.
We are committed to helping our students, our community and all Canadians during this crisis. We will get through this together.