Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker is happy Ontario's government is working for the people to help job seekers find and keep good jobs and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need.
In 2016, the Auditor General reported that Ontario's employment and training programs were not effectively helping people find and keep full-time jobs, and that the government lacked labour market information that would help meet the current and future labour needs of Ontario. A 2018 update showed that limited progress had been made on the Auditor General's recommendations to improve programs.
The current system is fractured, unnecessarily complex, and not sufficiently focused on getting the results job seekers, employers, and Ontario's economy need to grow and succeed.
This week, Merilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that Ontario is transforming its employment services.
"Part of making Ontario open for business means making sure job seekers can connect with opportunities to find and keep good jobs, and that employers can hire the skilled workers they need to thrive," said Fullerton. "By providing job seekers and businesses with the best possible employment services, we can support a strong workforce and restore Ontario to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada."
Walker said he is pleased to see the government taking action to help those in the job market and employers hiring new staff.
“Our government is helping job seekers find and keep good jobs and is helping employers recruit the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses,” said Walker. “Ontario’s employment and training programs are critical to building the skilled workforce that keeps Ontario open for business.”
Ontario's plan for transforming employment services includes:
Launching a refreshed labour market information website featuring 500 job profiles to help learners and job seekers explore their first or next career, and identify opportunities for relevant education, training, and re-skilling. The website will include improved navigation to the Job Bank so job seekers can find employment opportunities, and businesses can find the right workers with the right skills.
Creating a new service delivery model that will integrate social assistance employment services into Employment Ontario to help the province's most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, to break free from the poverty cycle.
Introducing a new model to manage the employment service system more effectively to meet the needs of job seekers, businesses, and communities. The selection of service system managers will be determined through a new, competitive process and open to any public, not-for-profit, and private sector organizations, as well as consolidated municipal service managers and district social services board service managers.
Ensuring employment services are working more effectively with other government services, including social assistance, so when people find themselves facing barriers to employment, or in a precarious employment situation, they can get the help they need.
Implementing changes to Ontario's employment services gradually, starting with three prototypes in fall 2019.
"We will be engaging our key stakeholders to help inform the next steps of this modernization. Our government wants to find the best solutions to meet our goal of providing access to high-quality employment supports," said Fullerton.