Canada’s Ontario government is providing USD 180.5 million to connect workers in the tourism and hospitality sector and others most affected by the pandemic to training and jobs. Part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, this investment includes a skilled trades strategy, an additional USD 100 million of dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training, a redesigned Second Career programme, and USD 59.5 million to acquire in-demand skills.
“These initiatives will help Ontarians seeking jobs obtain the skills and requirements they need, especially those who have been hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19,” said John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “Not only does this training support both workers and employers, but it also addresses the gaps in skills training which, if left unaddressed, would be a significant obstacle for our province’s strong economic recovery.”
Between February and May 2020, employment declined by 1.16 million jobs, or 15.3%. Among those most impacted by the pandemic include workers in the tourism and hospitality sector, youth aged 15 to 24, and women.
While there has been a strong recovery in jobs, employment in October remained 287,400 jobs below its pre-COVID-19 level and unemployment remained at 9.6 per cent. Between June and October, employment in Ontario has risen by 868,600 jobs.
“Now is the time to invest in retraining our workers, so they are ready to contribute to the recovery of our province,” said Rod Phillips, minister of finance. “Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover will help job seekers, particularly those hardest hit by COVID-19, to get the skills they need.”
Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to release a fiscal outlook that reflected the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in its 25 March Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.