Ontario helping laid-off tech workers with 3-point plan

Includes action centre, counselling, university partnerships
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/14/2012

Ontario is helping laid-off technology workers in Waterloo, Ont., receive the advice, training and support they need to continue their careers in the province, according to the provincial government.

Partnering with not-for-profit Communitech, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Research In Motion (RIM) — which is slashing 5,000 jobs or 30 per cent of its workforce — the government’s three-point plan to help laid-off workers includes:

•working with Communitech — through Employment Ontario — to help workers find new jobs in the technology sector in the region

•adding spaces in entrepreneurship and business programs at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to help laid-off workers develop skills to start their own businesses, especially in technology

•creating an action centre to help laid-off workers find a new job, receive employment counselling or go back to school through Second Career (a government program that provides skills training and financial support).

The Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation will also continue to work with businesses to promote economic growth in the Waterloo region. The area's technology sector generates more than $30 billion in revenues annually in a community of 550,000 people, according to the Ontario government.

Ontario has a Rapid Re-employment and Training Service to respond within one hour to provide immediate assistance to workers hit by layoffs and plant closures, so they can quickly access existing Employment Ontario programs and services.

The province is first in Canada and third in North America in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector for a number of businesses — employing about 270,000 people, representing about 50 per cent of total Canadian ICT employment, according to the government.

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