HAMILTON — The Ontario government is investing $592,000 to help prepare 150 people in Hamilton for well-paying jobs in the construction sector, such as environmental engineers, surveyors, civil engineers and general managers to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Additionally, this support will help employers reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining workers and apprentices. This initiative is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy with funding being provided through the government's $115 million Skills Development Fund.
Details were provided today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
"Our government launched the Skills Development Fund to generate innovative solutions to get Ontario back to work and ensure businesses have access to the qualified people they need to recover from the pandemic," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "Through our new program in Hamilton, participants will learn world-leading best practices while gaining the critical skills and knowledge they need to fill in-demand jobs and support economic growth in the province."
The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering is among the first applications approved through the Fund. In partnership with McMaster University, they will develop a Sustainable Infrastructure Training Program. This new certificate program will provide training and resources to prepare up to 150 current and future technologists and engineers in the construction sector to design, construct, operate, and maintain infrastructure that is sustainable and resilient to climate changes.
The Hamilton-based training program will also drive economic growth by helping address an expected shortage of construction workers at a time when many key infrastructure projects are reaching their peak hiring periods.
The government is working to process all applications for the Skills Development Fund and discuss proposals with funding candidates. More than 500 applications were received in the first month of the program and a second application round is being planned in spring 2021. More details will follow in the coming weeks.
To help workers get the training they need, the government's 2021 Budget is proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit. This would be a temporary, refundable Personal Income Tax credit that would deliver support for 2021. The credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, or about $1,100 on average.
"Too many of our neighbours lost their jobs since this pandemic began," said Minister Bethlenfalvy. "They lost their jobs through no fault of their own, but rather due to a virus that has required unprecedented restrictions on our economy to keep each other safe. It simply is not fair. And these workers deserve our support getting back to work. For some, that may mean exploring opportunities in a new industry. But this often requires going back to school which costs money at a time when their personal finances may have already been stretched to the limit. To help workers with their training expenses, the government is proposing a new temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021."
Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to finish the battle against COVID-19, building on the government's record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.
- In 2016, nearly 1 in 3 journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
- This initiative supports Ontario’s Skilled Trades Strategy to reduce the stigma related to a career in the skilled trades, simplify the apprenticeship system and encourage business participation.
- The government received more than 500 project ideas and proposals for support through the Skills Development Fund from employers, industry associations, training institutions, municipalities and others in the community who have been impacted by COVID-19.
- The Skills Development Fund is supported by the Workforce Development Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
- As part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario continues to support workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020–21 and 2021–22 to provide targeted employment and training supports.
- Skills Development Fund
- Employment Ontario: Free Programs and Services for Job Seekers, Workers and Employers
- 2021 Budget - Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy
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