More apprenticeships, increased apprenticeship completion rates and Ontario’s first training bank
A highly skilled workforce is essential to Ontario’s economic competitiveness. Employers and education and training institutions must work together to make sure people can get the skills and experience they need to get good jobs.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Today, Ontario’s colleges and universities are among the best in the world. The Ontario Liberal government’s investments are creating hands-on learning opportunities for more than 70,000 postsecondary students. Our apprenticeship system has certified almost 10,000 trade professionals a year for the past three years.
The Ontario Liberal government also supports newcomers through investments in services and programs that help them and their families settle in their new lives and get ahead. It supports the Ontario Bridge Training Program, which connects skilled immigrants to the job market. It also provides language training and other settlement supports.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more. We must ensure that our apprenticeship and training system meets the needs of students, job-seekers and employers in a rapidly changing economy. Many newcomers can’t find affordable training programs or face challenges when they try to continue to work in the same careers they worked in before coming to Ontario.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals will modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship system by creating 15,000 more opportunities, improve our employment and training system and help maintain the strength of our workforce. We will help newcomers achieve their full potential by expanding access to training and ensuring that their experience, credentials and qualifications obtained outside Ontario are fairly assessed. Our plan will:
- Expose more youth to trades by expanding the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, which helps grade 11 and 12 students work toward becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their high school diploma
- Support regional, local and sector-specific apprenticeship pilot projects as part of a $170 million investment over three years in the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy
- Create an Office of Apprenticeship Opportunity to open the door to skilled trades for visible minorities, Indigenous people, women and people with disabilities
- Create a Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for employers to hire new apprentices, with additional incentives to hire underrepresented groups
- Invest $63 million to create the first Ontario Training Bank, which will develop new, short-term training options for workers who want to upgrade their skills and help ensure training options meet employer needs
- Increase investments in the Ontario Bridge Training Program, which will help 14,000 more skilled newcomers
- Increase operating funding to public libraries by $51 million over three years, which will help to enhance their role as providers of training programs and access to the technology that job seekers need to identify and apply for job opportunities
- Invest $132 million over the next three years in innovative college and university programming that strengthens partnerships with employers and gives students more experiential learning opportunities
- Using the expertise of our new Chief Scientist, develop a plan to increase the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering and math by 25 per cent and ensure they represent the diversity of our province
- Welcome more economic immigrants to Ontario through the Provincial Nominee Program, bringing the total to 6,600 in 2018
- While respecting the autonomy of self-governing professions, task Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner with identifying ways that self-governing professions can better assign fair value to credentials and work experience acquired outside of Ontario
- Establish Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner as an appeal body in cases where the existing rules of a self-governing profession around recognition of experience and credentials have not been properly followed; if a finding is made in favour of an applicant, the case would be referred back to the self-governing body for review
- Help newcomers succeed, through employment supports, language training and settlement services