Statement by Minister on Protecting the Province's Vulnerable Worker Programs
Today, Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, released the following statement on potential changes to employment and training services in Ontario:
"The Ontario government currently provides the training and support needed to build and strengthen the skills of vulnerable workers, and to help them find and keep work.
Last year, Ontario invested $194 million in federal funding to help about 250,000 vulnerable workers, including Aboriginal people, youth, immigrants, those who have been out of work long-term, people with disabilities and social assistance recipients.
Recently, the federal government proposed the Canada Job Grant. This program requires provinces to match the federal dollars, and would force Ontario to re-direct funds currently geared to help the most vulnerable workers to the Canada Job Grant. This strategy will not work effectively for businesses or for the people who are looking for work in Ontario, and would put the province's most vulnerable workers at risk.
Although the Canada Job Grant could be a valuable tool, it should not come at the expense of a long-term funding commitment from the federal government to help Ontario serve the people most in need to get the skills necessary to be more job-ready. Ontario is best placed to understand how to serve its own diverse labour market needs.
The province's employment service network is a one-stop shop that combines former federally-delivered and Ontario-delivered programs at more than 300 locations. This service is providing strong results for its clients, with 63 per cent finding work and an additional 15 per cent going on to further education or training.
We want to work together with the federal government to find a solution that meets the needs of its diverse labour market and ensures that no one is left behind.
A long-term agreement with the federal government that will help Ontario better target the diverse needs of its economy is the best thing we can do for employers, workers and people looking for work.
Our economy is stronger when everyone has the opportunity to find work and contribute to the province's growth."