Black, indigenous, people of colour, young people, women and immigrant populations experienced disproportionate job losses due to COVID-19. These historically marginalized communities stand to gain from the creation of new Cluster Employment opportunities. Additionally, the Canadian Government has recognized stable income, employment and access to health services as three of the top Social Determinants of health. The income and employment stability offered by Cluster Employment, along with the medical benefits provided to each cluster employee inspire us to confidently state that this project will address the important needs of these particularly hard-hit populations, across all sectors and regions.
Employers showcased their need for reduced cost/cost sharing employment solutions when over 80% of employment opportunities created in July were part-time. These jobs are often tenuous, and provide little stability to employer and employee. Additionally, small- to medium-sized employers are restricted by their resources and have trouble filling part-time needs and attracting high-skill affordable talent, both of which disproportionally affect rural employers. Simultaneously, job seekers are limited by conventional employment opportunities, where full-time positions tend not to be flexible and flexible positions tend not to be stable. The Cluster Employment model takes brings the pros of part-time employment (including reduced cost/cost-sharing), and adds stable flexibility to the equation.
Finally, we are seeing much needed conversation at the highest political levels about both social and economic resiliency, particularly around Employment Insurance. Cluster Employment disrupts the current system by leveraging part-time needs to create full-time solutions, and therefore creating EI eligible employment. The Cluster Employment solution benefits populations previously ineligible for EI due to part-time employment which allows vulnerable populations to tap into the benefits and resources associated with the EI Program.