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Ontario Launches Centre for Workforce Innovation at Ryerson University

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Ontario Launches Centre for Workforce Innovation at Ryerson University

Province Growing the Economy, Modernizing Employment and Training Services for Jobseekers

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is establishing a new centre of excellence to help grow the province's economy by ensuring jobseekers and employers benefit from the most evidence-based and effective employment and training services.

The new Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, a collaboration led by Ryerson University, will help more Ontario workers find and keep employment, while ensuring they develop the critical skills employers need to succeed in today's competitive and changing economy. The collaboration will provide Ontario's training and employment providers with a single window for best practices on how to deliver employment and training programs and address labour market challenges. 

The centre will also:

  • Offer professional development for stakeholders including an employment and training community of practice that brings together different organizations to share and collaborate
  • Research, pilot and evaluate innovative employment and training projects
  • Launch, manage and maintain an accessible bilingual website to share research and information with the professionals and the public.

The collaboration will feature interconnected regional hubs in Toronto, Thunder Bay, London and Kingston/Gananoque as well as a Francophone coordinating centre in Sudbury to bring local expertise to the centre's core work of supporting employment and training stakeholders across the province.

Developing a highly skilled workforce is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The centre’s annual operating budget will be $3.5 million dollars, which will support program delivery and innovative demonstration projects carried out by third parties selected through transparent, competitive processes.
  • A list of the twelve partner organizations can be found here.
  • Research findings will be shared through free online information and resources, as well as through training and development opportunities offered by the centre to professionals working in the employment and training sector.
  • Ontario invests more than $1 billion annually in Employment Ontario, the province’s integrated employment and training network.
  • The Employment Ontario network helped approximately 1 million Ontarians in 2014-15, including over 107,600 employers across Ontario.
  • Jobseekers and employers can now access online support through Employment Ontario Live Chat.
  • The new Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel is developing a strategy to help the province’s workforce adapt to the demands of a technology-driven economy.
  • In December 2015, Ontario launched eight 18-month local employment planning council pilot projects across Ontario to act as hubs to connect employers, industry associations, sector groups and other employer groups with appropriate labour market information.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our government believes that all people, regardless of background or circumstance, should have access to effective employment and training programs that give them the skills they need to succeed. I want to congratulate Ryerson and its partners in their new role leading the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, which will bring great value to the province’s employment and training system. This centre is ultimately focused on getting the best results possible for Ontario’s jobseekers, and I believe it will make a very positive impact helping meet local labour market challenges in this province.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“The Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation brings together key organizations who have the potential to transform the way in which we address the demand for talent by employers on the one hand and the unemployment and underemployment of job seekers on the other. By building on solid research, leveraging the expertise of stakeholders from across sectors and rigorously examining opportunities for new and effective approaches, we can find solutions to one of the most challenging issues facing the province.”

Dr. Wendy Cukier, Vice-President of Research and Innovation

Ryerson University and Chair of the OCWI Working Group

“Building a 21st century workforce is a key priority area of our Emerging Stronger agenda. Our collective focus must be to establish greater connections between graduates and employers and ensure Ontario has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy. The Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation will produce tangible research results, help inform the province's training programs, and bridge gaps between the needs of employers and the services offered to Ontarians. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is proud to be members of this leading-edge organization.”

Allan O’Dette, President and CEO

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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