Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Ontario has announced a $5 million expansion to the Second Career program that will make funding available to more individuals.
The government’s plan also includes extending the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to include more people with up to $28,000 to pay for education and living expenses to retrain.
“We’re already seeing the early success of this program,” Premier Doug Ford said in Orillia on Monday. “Since March 2021, when the Second Career program was launched, it has helped thousands and thousands of people train for new careers and land new jobs.”
The program provides financial support to laid-off and unemployed workers. By Spring 2022, it will begin supporting unemployed individuals with little or no work experience, those who are self-employed and those in the gig economy. The program will also offer much better access for those whose employment barriers may have been made worse by the pandemic, including young people, newcomers, people on social assistance, and people with disabilities.
“As we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic, Ontario continues to face the greatest labour shortage in a generation,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “This is why our government is investing in programs that will connect more people across our province to meaningful careers and financial independence that empowers them to build better lives for themselves and their loved ones.”
The government is also proposing to extend the temporary, refundable Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022, which was originally introduced in the 2021 Ontario Budget to help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic get back into the workforce. The extension would provide an estimated $275 million in additional support to about 240,000 people, or $1,150 on average, to help Ontario workers continue to upgrade their skills.
“If you’re prepared to put in the work, time and effort to learn skills to support your family, the government is prepared to put in the money and give you every opportunity to see it through,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “That’s why we are proposing to extend the Ontario Job Training Tax Credit to help Ontario workers get the training they need to get good jobs right here in Ontario.”
Since revamping Second Career to prioritize those laid off during the pandemic, the number of workers accessing the program has increased by 71 per cent.
The planned expansion will help more local employers find the talent they need, while providing a hand up to those who want to re-train for in-demand careers. “Everywhere I go in the province, people are saying they need to hire people. So, that’s great news,” he said. “This will also continue as we see more businesses and more jobs coming to Ontario to take advantage of our open-for-business attitude and world-class labour force.”
“We’re helping our workers and businesses recover. We’re making sure no worker is left behind. We’re working for workers.”