The Ontario government is fighting the worsening labour shortage by ramping up its Skills Development Fund.
According to a news release posted on Monday, the multi-million dollar investment will help create skilled workers and secure job seekers with meaningful careers in their communities.
This will be the program’s third funding round, and it is open to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed and will prioritize programs helping people with prior involvement in the criminal justice system, at-risk youth, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, Ukrainian newcomers, and others facing barriers to employment.
It will officially open for applications on the 29th of September, 2022.
The government revealed that over 370,000 jobs are going unfilled across the province, costing Ontario billions in lost productivity.
“Ontario is a place where hard work pays off and big dreams come true,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.
“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.
“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 latest round of funding follows the government’s approval of a $500,000 investment for the John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington, and Area. Two previous funding rounds delivered 388 training projects and helped more than 393,000 people find suitable careers.
During the upcoming third funding round, the province will also prioritize applications for projects preparing workers for careers in in-demand sectors such as the skilled trades, healthcare, technology and manufacturing.
Today’s announcement brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund to over $560 million.