Ontario Builds Skilled Workforce with Strengthened Employment Services

Province moves forward with easy to use, localized employment services to create jobs

Ontario’s government is putting people first by improving employment services with a new system that focuses on the needs of local communities, workers and employers to help Ontarians get good, quality jobs. These improvements will help job seekers find and keep good jobs and assist employers in recruiting the skilled workers they need to build the skilled workforce that keeps Ontario open for business and open for jobs.

Beginning Fall 2019, the new employment services model will launch in three diverse urban and rural communities: Region of Peel, Hamilton-Niagara and Muskoka-Kawarthas. Employment services across the rest of the province will move to the new system starting in 2022.

“We want all Ontarians to have the skills they need to get a good job. Unfortunately, current employment services are not delivering results and often don’t provide people looking for a job with a clear path to employment,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Our government is creating a stronger employment services system for Ontarians, including those on social assistance. Our new model will be easy to use, be more localized and create better outcomes for workers and communities.”

In three prototype regions, the province will make employment services more responsive to the needs of Ontario’s changing economy by:

  • Creating an easy and efficient system to meet the employment needs of all businesses, communities and job seekers, including those on social assistance or with a disability.
  • Delivering employment services in a way that better matches the needs of the local economy in each community.
  • Selecting service system managers who will plan and deliver employment services at a local level and receive funding based on achieving results.

The selection of service system managers for the three regions will be determined through a competitive process later this summer and will be open to any public, not-for-profit or private sector organization.

“By helping people find jobs and making Ontario open business, we can make life easier for hard-working families and individuals and return Ontario to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada,” said Romano.

As the new system is implemented in the prototype regions, the government will continue to work with service delivery partners across the province to plan and deliver stronger, locally-focused employment and social assistance services that help more people find and keep jobs.

Quick Facts

  • Employment Ontario is the province’s network of employment and training programs that supports job seekers and employers. About one million people are served by Employment Ontario annually.
  • On February 12, 2019, the government announced its plan to modernize Ontario’s employment services.
  • The government recently engaged with nearly 200 stakeholders to get their feedback on the new employment services system to make sure it truly meets the needs of job seekers and employers.
  • The Ontario government has a labour market information website that includes 500 job profiles to help learners, job seekers and explorers make more informed decisions about their education and career goals.
  • Job seekers and employers can also visit ontario.ca/jobs as a one-stop resource for their employment needs and connect to the Ontario Job Bank to both find and post job opportunities.
  • Over the next five years, one in five new jobs in Ontario is expected to be in trades-related occupations. Learn how the government is taking steps to improve Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system.
  • Last month, the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the Metcalf Foundation and United Way Greater Toronto released a report addressing the province’s ongoing work to address the skills mismatch between available jobs and job seekers.

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