Ontario adds $90 million to skills development fund

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is boosting the skills development fund with an additional $90 million to support training programs – the third round of funding beginning Sept. 29.

Priority will be given to applications for projects preparing workers for careers in in-demand sectors such as the skilled trades, healthcare, technology and manufacturing.

“Minister McNaughton’s unwavering support for Ontario’s Building Trades workers is highly commendable. Today, Minister McNaughton is once again following up his strong words with strong action,” said James Hogarth, president, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.

The province is also planning to launch a dedicated stream for larger capital projects later this year.

Funding applications will be accepted starting Sept. 29 and will close Jan. 31, 2023 through Transfer Payment Ontario.

“This investment provides the kind of support our member companies need to help close the skills gap,” said Stephen Hamilton, director of public affairs at the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). It will allow employers to hire more skilled tradespeople from apprentices to supervisors to help build Ontario’s infrastructure. It will also allow more apprentices and workers to get the kind of modern, flexible training that’s required for the 21st century.”

Organizations eligible for funding include employment service and training providers, labour, community, business and industry organizations, municipalities, hospitals, Indigenous Band offices, Indigenous skills and employment training agreement holders, and service system managers.

“As we continue to combat the largest labour shortage in a generation, there are tens of thousands of people who need a hand up, including those previously involved in the justice system who have paid their dues and just want to give back,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development.

“I believe in second chances and that is why I am calling on Ontario’s employers to help us deliver programs that lift people up and give them the tools they need to earn bigger paycheques and lead purpose-driven lives.”

The previous two rounds of funding paid for 388 training projects, helping more than 393,000 people enter careers in in-demand industries.

Multi-year proposals will now be accepted with demonstrated experience and success delivering Employment Ontario (EO) programs.

“The Skills Development Fund has proven transformational for Good Roads‘ municipal and First Nation members,” said Scott Butler, executive director, Good Roads.

“With this funding, Good Roads was able to quickly design and deliver training that responded to market conditions while also providing public works professionals with the skills needed to keep our roads in good repair and get Ontario moving on the road to post-COVID recovery.”


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