Ontario Helping Students Get Training and Land Jobs

August 17, 2023

Peterborough — The Ontario government is investing $172,500.00 in Junior Achievement of
Northern and Eastern Ontario (JA NEO) will engage students with information and pilot programs
to cultivate interest and education in skilled trades.

Through these programs, JA NEO will educate and help students understand the importance of
skilled trades. Junior Achievement will work with community and business leaders to help youth
understand and activate their potential for the jobs of tomorrow by extending of their programs
and focus on skilled trades for full-time students. They will also aim to reach youth from different
communities and populations experiencing barriers while providing an inclusive environment with
equitable engagement and learning opportunities.

Youth will also be given an opportunity to participate in JA’s World of Choices Program where
students will familiarize themselves with potential career paths, getting a glimpse into the day-today
of a variety of careers while learning about and challenging the myths surrounding them.

Students will feel empowered to continue their education towards a chosen career and be better
equipped to meet the challenges of today’s working world. JA NEO will then launch an extension
of its Company Program focused on specific skilled trades. Through this program, youth will learn
how to organize and operate a business related to a very important sector of our economy.

“Having programs like this available to our youth will set them on a path to be able to prosper in the
future,” said Dave Smith MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “Ontario’s skilled trades are vital to the
growth of the economy and our government’s ‘Plan to Build’, offering careers that lead to secure
jobs and a good quality life.” MPP Smith added.

“To build stronger communities, we need to ensure young people have pathways to meaningful
employment,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills
Development. “As a former Junior Achiever, I know how life-changing this program can be. Our
investment will give the next generation of leaders the opportunity to participate in hands-on training
and develop the skills they need to start rewarding and lucrative careers in the skilled trades.”

“For far too long, we have forgotten to celebrate the essential role of skilled workers in our workforce
and our economy,” John McNutt – President & CEO of JA Northern and Eastern Ontario said. “With
funding from the Skills Development Fund, JA NEO will be adapting our award-winning Company
Program and working with industry leaders to increase the number of young employees embarking
on a career in skilled trades and accessing stable, well-paying employment in the future across
Ontario.” John McNutt added.

The Skills Development Fund is open to a wide range of applicants, including employers, industry
associations, labour unions, municipalities, hospitals and many more. In addition to supporting one

year projects, the fund also allows funding over several years to support longer-term
projects. This enables interested organizations to receive funding to provide skills development
services and training through a more flexible and tailored approach.

The funding announced today builds on the government’s continuing mission to attract, support and
protect workers, and to make Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and raise a family. In
support of this effort, the province recently introduced the third Working for Workers Act and is
launching a capital stream of the Skills Development Fund which will help build and upgrade training
centres across the province.

Quick Facts

  • Through its first three funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 596 projects, to help almost 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their career.
  • Applications for the SDF Capital Stream open on June 30 and will be accepted until September 25, 2023 at https://www.ontario.ca/page/available-funding-opportunities-ontario-government.
  • There were about 300,000 job vacancies in Ontario recently.
  • The Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.