COVID-19: BUSINESS RESOURCES

The Ontario government is providing $180.5 million to connect workers in the tourism and hospitality sector and others most affected by the pandemic to training and jobs.

Part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, this investment includes a skilled trades strategy, an additional $100 million of dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training, a redesigned Second Career program, and $59.5 million to acquire in-demand skills.

“There is a clear and growing demand for more people in skilled trades right here in Ontario, and there is no better time to find a rewarding career in this sector,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “This investment is a tremendous step forward for both job-seekers and employers on the road to a strong economic recovery.”

“In Barrie and Innisfil, both businesses and tradespeople have long been advocating for the need to close the skills gap,” said local MPP, Andrea Khanjin.” There are too few people with the skills needed to fill the jobs currently available. As our economy recovers and expands, Ontario needs people with skills for those jobs. I am delighted that the budget delivers additional investment to close the skills gap.”

Between February and May 2020, employment declined by 1,156,500, or 15.3 per cent. Among those most impacted by the pandemic include workers in the tourism and hospitality sector, youth aged 15 to 24, and women. While there has been a strong recovery in jobs, employment in October remained 287,400 jobs below its pre‑COVID‑19 level and unemployment remained at 9.6 per cent.

“Now is the time to invest in retraining our workers, so they are ready to contribute to the recovery of our province,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover will help job seekers, particularly those hardest hit by COVID-19, to get the skills they need.”

To help people upgrade their skills, the government is investing an additional $180.5 million over three years in micro-credentials, employment services and training programs, including apprenticeships. The Province is taking comprehensive action to help get people back to work and contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery, including a focus on the groups and sectors most impacted by the pandemic.

“Our government is focused on steering Ontario towards a strong economic recovery, and by focusing on skills training, we can help employers, workers and job seekers adapt,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte. “These investments will help address the existing gaps in skills training. It will ensure that job seekers in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte get the skills they need now for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

“We are committed to taking action to support Ontario’s workers, and Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Our Skilled Trades Strategy will support businesses and help prepare people for jobs by creating a flexible skilled trades and apprenticeship system that will best prepare Ontario workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Quick facts:

  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover includes an additional $100 million of dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training, a redesigned Second Career program, and $59.5 million to acquire indemand skills
  • From June to October, employment in Ontario has risen by 868,600 jobs.
  • Ontario’s real GDP is projected to decline by 6.5 per cent in 2020 and rise by 4.9 per cent in 2021. Ontario’s economic growth is expected to continue after 2021, with real GDP projected to rise 3.5 per cent in 2022 before moderating to 2.0 per cent growth in 2023.
  • Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to release a fiscal outlook that reflected the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in its March 25, 2020 Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

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NEWS RELEASE
JILL DUNLOP, MPP FOR SIMCOE NORTH
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