Youth and workers over 55 feel the job market is closed to them while thousands of jobs are going unfilled in Ontario. New programs are aimed at addressing this issue. PHOTO courtesy Cosen Saws.
The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million to support four free training projects to help 385 jobseekers and 2,300 students who face barriers to employment prepare for meaningful jobs, including in manufacturing, across southwestern Ontario.
Research has shown that more than two-thirds of people over the age of 55 feel the job market is closed to them, while the youth in Ontario are unemployed at a rate twice as high as the provincial average, all while thousands of jobs are going unfilled in the province, the Ontario government says.
“As Ontario continues to combat a historic labour shortage, we need to ensure everyone in our community gets a fair shot at the training they need to land life-changing careers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “These free projects will help level the playing field and give disadvantaged young people, seniors – everyone in between – in London a chance at better jobs and bigger paycheques.”
Led by Over 55 London, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Pathways Employment Help Centre and WePrep Inc./LiUNA Local 1059, the programs announced will prioritize those traditionally shut out of the job market, such as at-risk youth and those over the age of 55. They will prepare jobseekers for careers in a several in-demand industries, including manufacturing.
Participants will have the chance to explore a range of employment and training options through hands-on training, apprenticeships, on-the-job learning, and financial literacy courses. They will also have access to free equipment like work boots and tools, and support with living expenses, childcare, transportation, and mental health resources, to ensure a smooth transition to the job market.
“With the generational Volkswagen investment coming to our region bringing 3,000 direct jobs and 30,000 jobs across the province it is critical that we continue to ease the historic labour shortage,” said Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “Ontario’s investment in four free training projects will give underprivileged individuals in Southwestern Ontario the opportunity to find meaningful and well-paying jobs.”
These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, an over $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. For more information on how to register, contact one of the participating organizations.