‘The new funding will allow more people to quickly acquire specific skills that equip them to return to the workforce’
Ontario’s investment of $59.5 million over three years to expand micro-credential retraining programs is being applauded by Colleges Ontario.
"This is a positive step in the province's plan to promote economic renewal," says Linda Franklin, president and CEO. "The government clearly recognizes the value of upskilling and retraining in the new economy. The new funding will allow more unemployed people to quickly acquire specific skills that equip them to return to the workforce."
The funding — part of Ontario’s budget for 2020 — will be used to create an online portal of micro-credential training opportunities, develop new micro-credential programs, launch a public awareness campaign and to develop a virtual passport that creates opportunities for people in the programs to pursue further learning.
Even before the pandemic, business leaders have indicated that they are worried about the availability of key skills in the economy
The government also announced that students enrolled in qualified programs will be eligible to receive student assistance.
"Colleges look forward to working with the government to deliver meaningful changes that help more people find rewarding careers," says Franklin. "Ontario can emerge from the global pandemic as a world leader in higher education."
In the budget, Ontario also set aside $180.5 million over three years to connect workers in the tourism and hospitality sector and others most affected by the pandemic to training and jobs, and $100 million for dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training.
In September, Ontario invested $37 million to help more than 15,000 people train for new jobs and upgrade their skills to enable them to contribute to the province's economic recovery.