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Helping More Students Prepare for Tomorrow's Jobs

Ontario Expanding Specialist High Skills Majors Program

Ministry of Education

Ontario is expanding and enhancing its Specialist High Skills Majors program to help more high school students find their career passion and get the skills and knowledge they need for jobs in the 21st century.

To meet the growing demand, the province is expanding the program in high schools across Ontario for the eighth year in a row. Beginning this month, more than 44,000 students will be enrolled in 1,685 programs - an increase of 2,000 students and 125 programs compared to the 2013-14 school year.

The innovative program lets students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of their high school diploma. Students can choose a specific economic sector, such as healthcare or aerospace, and develop essential skills that will better prepare them for life after high school - including apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace.

Expanding skills training for students is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up by investing in people, building modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Eighty-three per cent of high school students are now graduating in five years, which is an increase of 15 percentage points since 2004. Seventy-five per cent of students now graduate in four years, up from 56 per cent in 2004.
  • In August 2013, the Specialist High Skills Majors program was awarded the Gold Innovative Management Award from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
  • Innovative programs like the Specialist High Skills Majors and dual credits are helping students achieve excellence, a key goal of Ontario’s renewed vision for education.

Additional Resources


“The Specialist High Skills Majors program helps students see the connections between their studies, the world beyond high school and their future careers. By expanding and enhancing these programs, we’re helping more students gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed now, and in the future.”

Liz Sandals

Minister of Education

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Education and Training