The COVID-19 crisis has led to unprecedented job losses. According to a recent Angus Reid study, 44 per cent of Canadian households reported having lost work as early as March 25.
Administration, faculty instructors and staff working in the School of Continuing Studies at York University knew they had a responsibility to help Canadians and their employers rebound. Continuing Studies 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. In response, Continuing Studies immediately increased capacity for its online, accelerated certificate programs starting this May to address this need.
But, with the unprecedented difficulties Canadians from coast to coast are enduring, Continuing Studies is committed to helping 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. The school will award 17 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 ongoing 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.
The School of Continuing Studies suite of 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 the programs offered by the school 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 the school’s unique accelerated program designs, 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 the School of Continuing Studies has implemented in addition to the recently launched York University Emergency Bursary, which provides financial support to 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, you are encouraged to apply. Please visit the School of Continuing Studies webpage for additional details on eligibility. Applications will be accepted until April 30.