Statement from Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development
"I would like to thank the Auditor General for her report.
We agree with the Auditor that it is important that our employment and training programs provide people with the support they need to find and keep good jobs that meet the needs of our current and future job market.
We are continuously reviewing and working on improving the outcomes of our employment and training programs to meet current and future labour market needs.
But we know there is more work to do.
We are modernizing and integrating our employment and training programs and taking an evidence-based approach to produce better employment outcomes.
As part of the Highly-Skilled Workforce Strategy, we are also modernizing our apprenticeship system and increasing participation and completion rates for underrepresented groups, while creating clearer pathways for learners.
We have a strategy in place now to drive completion rates, which includes:
- Exam preparation courses
- Updates to focus financial incentives on progress and completion
- Flagging apprentices who need support to complete their programs
- A pilot initiative to help apprentices improve their literacy and numeracy skills
- A pilot initiative to connect unemployed apprentices with Employment Ontario service providers.
We also know that we need to do a better job of measuring the effectiveness of our employment and training programs.
We are reviewing how we can collect more data on key performance measures and build long-term outcomes into our programming to effectively improve outcomes for people.
We agree with the Auditor that having access to detailed labour market information would allow us to make sure that we are meeting the needs of the labour market.
As part of my mandate letter and as part of our work following the Highly-Skilled Workforce Panel Report, I have been tasked with implementing a provincial Labour Market Information Strategy to improve access to credible, high-quality information that will help individuals make informed decisions about their future and help employers undertake workforce planning.
We thank the Auditor again for her review and recommendations."