The nature of work in Ontario is changing rapidly and to help build the resilience of individuals and businesses, as they prepare for the future of work, the next provincial government needs to strengthen the design and delivery of skills development in Ontario.
Ontario’s skills development ecosystem needs to deliver
Ontario needs a robust and responsive skills development ecosystem that helps people enter meaningful jobs, advance in their chosen careers, and transition to new occupations when needed.
As it stands, Ontario’s skills development ecosystem is not ready. In general, Canada is a leader in providing high-quality K-12 and post-secondary education, but has been a laggard in workplace training and lifelong learning. Skills training and supports for adults generally have restrictive eligibility requirements and are difficult to navigate – especially for those who are currently working and likely facing labour market disruption. At the same time, the array of different education and training options available is becoming increasingly diverse, fragmented, and complex.
New challenges require a system that is much better able to support Ontarians by providing ongoing, flexible education and training that helps them navigate the changing labour market. Table 1 provides an overview of the key components of Ontario’s skills development ecosystem beyond grade 12, and Table 2 provides the 2021-22 spending estimates for a sample of these programs. The numbers highlight the difference in resources allocated to traditional education versus programs that target working-age adults for skills training and lifelong learning. In 2021-22, Ontario budgeted much more towards postsecondary education and apprenticeships than the combined budgets for Second Career, Employment Ontario, and the Ontario Skills Development Fund – more than six times as much. Building a skills development system that meets the needs of working Ontarians will require investments in programming outside of the post-secondary system as well as continued innovation within it.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Ontario 360 Transition Briefings 2022 – The Workforce Ontario Needs Now: How to Strengthen Skills Development – Ontario 360