TORONTO — The Ontario government is supporting the development of up to 250 new rapid training programs that will be available for enrolment in 2022 through the Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund. This is significant progress on the province’s recent $15 million investment to create industry-relevant micro-credentials at colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges. These actions are part of the government’s commitment to help accelerate the development of rapid training programs and help people upgrade their skills to succeed in their current careers or find new employment.
Details were shared today by Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, at Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus.
“Our government continues to prioritize quick, flexible training opportunities that will prepare Ontarians for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Minister Dunlop. “These micro-credentials will be developed in collaboration with industry to respond to regional labour market needs and will strengthen partnerships between postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers.”
This milestone is an important part of Ontario’s micro-credentials strategy, helping Ontario’s internationally recognized postsecondary institutions offer learners opportunities to gain the skills they need for in-demand jobs. Some of these micro-credentials will build skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, network security, mental health, dementia care, Indigenous relations, tourism and digital marketing.
"Humber provides a comprehensive range of credentials that include micro-credentials, all designed to prepare learners for career success whether they are starting out, starting over or looking to advance," said Chris Whitaker, President and CEO, Humber College. “Micro-credentials help organizations recognize and integrate critical skill sets into their workforce. The Micro-credentials Challenge Fund demonstrates the government of Ontario’s commitment to helping individuals pursue their career goals and demonstrate their knowledge and skills to employers.”
To increase access for learners, the province has also invested $300,000 to develop and launch a new portal to make it easier to explore hundreds of rapid training opportunities in one place. The micro-credentials portal allows the user to search by industry, area of focus, institution and other criteria. Offerings on the portal range from biometrics and health care to software quality assurance and testing.
“eCampusOntario is proud to support the development of Ontario’s Micro-credentials Portal,” said Dr. Robert Luke, CEO, eCampusOntario. “This new gateway for accessible, lifelong learning will make it easier for all learners to upskill and reskill for tomorrow’s in-demand jobs. Leveraging its expertise in the micro-credential landscape, eCampusOntario is excited to launch a platform that will provide “one-stop shopping” for Ontarians seeking rapid, flexible, training in the skills employers want, providing businesses with the talent they need.”
Earlier this year, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer student financial assistance for micro-credentials. More than 1,200 micro-credentials are now approved for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), with more being approved on a regular basis.
- Since 2020, the Ontario government has announced over $60 million towards Ontario’s first micro-credentials strategy.
- Micro-credentials are rapid training programs that help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment. Alongside degrees, diplomas and certificates, micro-credentials offer a new postsecondary option for learners. Offered by public and private colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes, micro-credentials are short in duration, are often online and can be designed for the specific needs of employers and jobs.
- As additional micro-credentials are developed, the Ontario government will review them to determine if they are eligible for financial assistance through OSAP.
"As we look to the future, it’s clear the way we work is changing, and many jobs are not going back to the way they were before. That is why our government is investing in programs that help people upgrade their skills to earn bigger paychecks at work or start new careers."
- Monte McNaughton
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
"Ontario’s public colleges play a prominent role in helping people quickly retrain for new careers. This increased support will allow more people to find rewarding new opportunities and contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery."
- Linda Franklin
President and CEO, Colleges Ontario
"Ontario’s universities play a critical role in providing students, workers and non-traditional learners with the adaptable skills and programs they need to become resilient lifelong learners in a rapidly changing economy. Universities welcome the Micro-credentials Challenge Fund, which will help support the design and implementation of new micro-credentials at 15 universities across Ontario, as well as serve the labour market needs of local communities and the province as we rebuild Ontario together."
- Steve Orsini
President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities