Premier Names Panel to Develop Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy
Experts to Advise on Adapting to Demands of the Knowledge Economy
Ontario has appointed five members to the Premier's Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel. The new group, chaired by former cabinet minister Sean Conway, will develop a strategy to help the province's workforce adapt to the demands of a technology-driven knowledge economy.
The panel will assess how well the workforce is positioned to meet the needs of Ontario's economy and will recommend an integrated approach for the government to bridge education, training and skills development with the demands of an evolving economic landscape. The strategy will be delivered to government by Fall 2016. To inform the strategy, the panel is receiving input at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the government is convening a Talent and Skills Summit on January 20. Additional stakeholder consultations will take place in 2016.
Ontario chose the panel members based on their professional experience, knowledge of the business climate, relationships with a cross-section of stakeholder groups and understanding of employers, the education and public sectors, and issues related to the labour market. The panel will engage with stakeholders, including primary and secondary schools, postsecondary institutions, employers, labour organizations, students and youth, seniors, immigrant-serving organizations, people with disabilities and Aboriginal communities.
Building on the province's world-class education and skills training system is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by 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.
- Ontario has improved the education system through steps such as implementing full-day kindergarten, which serves more than a quarter of a million students every year, launching innovations such as experiential learning pilot programs, and providing almost $1.3 billion in student loans and grants in 2014–15.
- The government is investing an additional $250 million over two years — to more than $565 million — in the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy to provide employment and skill development opportunities for up to 150,000 youth.
- Ontario invests more than $1 billion annually in employment and training programs and services through Employment Ontario.
“It is my goal to ensure that every worker has the training or postsecondary education needed to participate in the knowledge economy we are building in our province. I want to thank the members of the expert panel for agreeing to develop a strategy to build up one of Ontario’s greatest strengths as a place to do business — our skilled and educated workforce.”