Targeted Initiative for Older Workers

Budget 2014

Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to renew the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program for a three-year period, representing a federal investment of $75 million.

Encouraging the labour market participation of under-represented groups in the labour market continues to be an important priority of the Government. Demographic changes and an aging population mean that older workers are becoming a larger portion of the labour force. They also represent a source of experienced talent that is sought after by employers. While older workers are faring relatively well, economic uncertainty can create unique challenges, particularly in communities where traditional industries have reduced their presence and workforce.

In 2006, the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program was created to assist unemployed older workers in smaller, vulnerable communities affected by significant downsizing or closures and/or high unemployment by supporting the reintegration of participants into the workforce. All provinces and territories participate in this cost-shared initiative alongside the federal government.

Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government proposes to renew the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program for a three-year period, representing a federal investment of $75 million. Eligibility for the Initiative will also be expanded to communities experiencing unfulfilled employer demand and/or skills mismatches, so that communities with tighter labour markets that may not have met the previous criteria can participate in the Initiative, if they have vacant jobs that unemployed older workers could fill.

The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) is a federal-provincial/territorial employment program that provides a range of employment activities for unemployed older workers living in vulnerable communities with populations of 250,000 or less to help them stay in the workforce.

To continue to support the reintegration of older workers into the workforce, Budget 2011 provided $50 million over two years to extend the program until 2013-14. This funding helps ensure that displaced older workers have access to the training and employment programs they need to secure new employment.

About the Program

The TIOW is a federal-provincial/territorial cost-shared initiative that provides employment assistance services and employability improvement activities (such as skills upgrading and work experience), to unemployed older workers aged 55 to 64 living in communities experiencing ongoing high unemployment and/or with a high reliance on an industry significantly affected by downsizing or closure.

Who Is Eligible

The TIOW focuses on older workers aged 55 to 64 who are unemployed, are legally entitled to work in Canada, require new or enhanced skills to successfully transition into new employment, and live in an eligible community. In exceptional circumstances, unemployed workers aged 50 to 54, or aged 65 and over and still in the labour market, may participate as well.

How It Works

Under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the TIOW targets an even broader range of communities, including cities and towns with a population of 250,000 or less and located in larger metropolitan areas. Previously, cities and towns located in Census Metropolitan Areas with a population greater than 250,000 were not eligible. This change means that an additional 250 communities may be eligible for TIOW.

Progress to Date

Agreements have been signed with all 13 provinces and territories. Since 2007, 407 projects have been approved using both Economic Action Plan and existing funding and 270 projects have been extended, providing programming to over 32,000 unemployed older workers.

Find Out More

Please consult the Employment and Social Development Canada website or the website of your provincial or territorial government.

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