Ontario’s workforce needs better training and professional development to ensure the province’s economy remains strong, according to the Ontario Society for Training & Development (OSTD).
Bob Canuel, of OSTD’s board of directors, said steps need to be taken now to prepare for the effects of the baby boom generation reaching retirement age.
“We must find ways to retrain older workers and keep them in the workforce,” said Canuel, speaking before a pre-budget hearing of the province’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. “As well, it will be critical to recognize prior learning, informal learning and on-the-job training, and to tackle literacy issues in the workplace, so that a larger percentage of workers can take advantage of lifelong learning opportunities.”
OSTD called on the government to work co-operatively to develop tools to integrate and promote learning technologies in the workplace and to maximize employee literacy.
It also renewed its support of Ontario’s efforts to get the federal government to reach an agreement with the province on the Labour Market Development Agreement, which would give Ontarians access to $600 million in apprenticeship and skills training funds and deliver programs to an additional 20,000 people.
OSTD is a provincial organization representing about 1,700 training and development professionals, suppliers and service providers.