Ontario Budget Creates Apprenticeship, Skills Training Opportunities

Ontario

 

Apr 9, 2018

In the 2018 Ontario Budget released on March 29, the province announced three initiatives intended to modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship system and create new opportunities for training: launching an Office of Apprenticeship Opportunity, investing in a new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy, and establishing the Ontario Training Bank.

Details remain to be released. Here’s what we know so far from the budget document.

• Office of Apprenticeship Opportunity — the office will support apprentices from underrepresented groups and build an inclusive, diverse apprenticeship system. The Office will be informed by best practices from other jurisdictions. “Actions will support changes in workplace culture that will create a welcoming, supportive environment for all apprentices by partnering with employers and unions to improve entry pathways into the apprenticeship system, support retention, and increase completion rates for apprentices from underrepresented groups.”

• Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy — the province will invest $170 million over three years on the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy. Investments will include expanding the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, providing more information on local labour markets to students, parents and educators, establishing a new grant to promote pooled group sponsorship models for apprentices, and a Local Apprenticeship Innovation Fund to increase opportunities for apprentices and support pilot projects where market needs have been demonstrated.

• Ontario Training Bank — the budget includes an investment of $63 million over three years to create a new Ontario Training Bank, “a one-stop shop for employers, job seekers and workers to access the skills training that meets their needs.” Services and programs provided by the Ontario Training Bank will include investing $30 million over two years to expand and enhance SkillsAdvance Ontario, bringing employers, industry associations and training providers together to develop skills programs that are tailored to the needs of the local economy, and replacing the Canada-Ontario Job Grant with a new Employer Partnership Training Fund, which will simplify contribution requirements, and incentivize employers to team up to deliver training.

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