Applications Open for Ontario’s New Skills Development Fund

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Feb 8, 2021

Applications are now open for the Ontario government’s new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund. The fund aims to support workers and apprentices, it was specifically designed to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and help reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining while preparing workers for the province’s economic recovery.

“COVID-19 has transformed how we work. It is essential we strategically manage and prepare for the future. This visionary funding announcement by Minister McNaughton provides support for innovative and effective training approaches that are critical to helping our members continue to contribute to a dynamic and well-trained workforce essential to fueling Ontario’s economic recovery,” said James Barry, Executive Secretary Treasurer, IBEW-CCO.

The Skills Development Fund will accept applications from a wide range of employment and training organizations in Ontario, and the focus will be on:

  • giving laid-off workers immediate access to training supports or new jobs
  • improving the quality of training
  • reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups
  • increasing apprentice registrations and completion
  • better serving local communities
  • supporting the talent needs of small businesses

Examples of projects from the fund could include: a digital career fair that allows employers to connect with job seekers impacted by COVID-19, mentorship programs and career counselling for apprentices while they are training on-the-job, the creation of training materials that teach employers how to accommodate employees who have disabilities, and making workspaces and equipment more accessible.

Applicants, including employers, apprenticeship training delivery agents, unions, post-secondary institutions, community organizations and others can now submit proposals until February 28, 2021.

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