Applications are now open for the Ontario government’s new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund.
Applicants can submit proposals until Feb. 28. The fund, which will support workers and apprentices, is designed to address the challenges brought by COVID-19 and help reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining while preparing workers for the province’s economic recovery.
“When faced with unprecedented challenges we need innovative solutions, that’s why we developed this new Skills Development Fund. It will lead to fresh and creative ideas to help get people back on the job and kick-start our communities,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister, Labour, Training and Skills Development. “My message to workers is clear – there is hope and opportunity around the corner. I’m calling on everyone – businesses, union leaders and training providers – to submit your ideas and participate in our economic recovery.”
According to the Ontario government, 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.
“Ontario’s home care system continues to face a significant worker shortage,” said Sue VanderBent, CEO, Home Care Ontario. “Today’s announcement will help the home care sector implement new training options that can rapidly train and deploy workers to address this major issue.”