Investing In People, Strengthening The Economy
A highly skilled workforce is the key to Ontario's success in today's competitive global economy. Investing in the skills and knowledge of people is one of the cornerstones of Ontario's economic plan.
By supporting students, by training today's workers for tomorrow's jobs, and by expanding and building places where students learn, the government is strengthening the province and building prosperity for Ontario families.
The following are some of Ontario's key skills and knowledge investments.
Textbook and Technology Grant
This $150 annual grant will help full-time community college and university students pay for books and computer costs. The amount of the annual grant will increase to $300 a year when fully implemented.
Ontario is investing $27 million over three years to help students in rural and remote areas who live more than 80 kilometres away from a college or university. Eligible students who go away to school will get a $300 annual grant to help them return home for visits with family. Eligible students who live at home and commute to school will get $500 each semester.
First Generation Outreach
Ontario is investing $30 million over three years in First Generation initiatives that support students who are the first in their family to attend college or university. The investment includes bursaries for students in need, as well as support for services such as mentoring and tutoring at colleges and universities.
Reaching Higher Student Support Initiatives
Through Ontario's Reaching Higher Plan, the government is doubling its student aid investment, with $358 million in new investments by 2010. The plan also includes an increase to book and supply allowances as well as programs offering students who receive government loans of more than $7,000 annually the opportunity to have the excess amount forgiven.
Ontario is investing $355 million over three years to help 20,000 recently laid off unemployed workers get long-term training for new careers. Participants will receive up to $28,000 to help pay for tuition, books, school supplies and living expenses for training programs lasting six months to two years, with an additional year possible for academic upgrading.
Apprenticeship Expansion and Enhancement
Ontario is investing $75 million over three years to help increase the number of new registrants in the skilled trades to 32,500 annually - a 25 per cent increase - by 2012. The government is also investing $40 million over three years to purchase state-of-the-art training equipment through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund.
Ontario is investing $17 million over four years to help create 1,750 internship opportunities for graduate students. The internships will be provided through the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems organization. The non-profit group connects students to research internship opportunities across all disciplines, including science and engineering, health and life sciences, arts and social sciences and business.
Building Places To Learn
Strategic Skills Training Centres
Ontario is investing $200 million to expand skills training centres at colleges and facilities across the province. The funding will support new construction and renovation projects, as well as the purchase of new equipment. These projects will create construction jobs in the short-term and help students develop the skills they need to work in the high-demand skilled trades in the future.
University and College Facilities
Ontario is investing $200 million to maintain and upgrade university facilities so students can learn in high-quality classrooms. The government will also invest $60 million over three years to upgrade college equipment so students can learn the latest techniques with modern tools and resources.
School of Global Research
Ontario is investing $25 million in a new School of International Studies at the University of Toronto. Researchers, faculty and students at the new school will investigate global economic trends, build relationships with partners around the world in business, government and academia, and develop innovative policy ideas that will help Ontario attract jobs and investment.
Ontario will continue to work to ensure Ontarians remain among the most educated and highly-skilled people in the world. Investing in the skills and knowledge of Ontarians will give the province a competitive advantage in the new global economy and ensure that Ontarians' quality of life is second to none.