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Ontario Skills Development Fund: Promoting Growth and Empowering Workforce Development

By 27 June, 2023August 21st, 2023No Comments

Diverse group of youth participating in a program funded by the Skills Development Program. All youth are wearing multicoloured hardhats in a warehouse setting, and they are raising their fists in celebration.

27 June, 2023 — The Skills Development Fund (SDF) in Ontario aims to promote and support the development of skills and training opportunities for the province’s workforce. The Fund recognizes the importance of continuous learning and skill enhancement to meet the evolving demands of Ontario’s labour market.

Notably, the Fund stimulates economic growth and enhances the province’s long-term competitive advantage through workforce development strategies. It focuses on project-based solutions that promote partnership-driven approaches in emerging and key growth sectors.

By supporting access to the labour market, capacity-building for employers, and workforce retention, the SDF aims to foster a resilient workforce that can adapt to technological advancements and changes in the way work is performed.

Supporting individuals facing barriers to employment

Overseen by the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (MLITSD), the Skills Development Fund empowers individuals facing barriers to employment, including youth, women, Indigenous peoples, racialized individuals, people with disabilities or mental health challenges, and members of at-risk communities.

It emphasizes tailored supports, workplace accommodations, and specialized training – ultimately helping underrepresented groups access training and employment opportunities.

The Fund also encourages partnerships across sectors to foster innovative ideas and training solutions. This strengthens Ontario’s capacity to respond to fluctuations in labour market conditions — particularly in sectors that are in-demand, emerging, and essential. Some examples of such industries include:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • information technology
  • healthcare
  • construction
  • skilled trades

Financial support and innovative training delivery

Funding provided through the Skills Development Fund covers various costs associated with training programs, such as curriculum development, instructors’ fees, training materials, and equipment. SDF programs also encourage innovative approaches to training delivery, including online and distance learning, to ensure accessibility and flexibility for participants.

Resources and services for employers and job seekers

In addition to financial support, the Fund offers resources and services to assist employers and individuals in navigating the training landscape, including information on available training programs, skills assessment tools, career counselling, and job placement connections.

Finally, the Fund plays a crucial role in fostering a skilled and adaptable workforce that can thrive in the ever-changing job market. By investing in skills development, these programs contribute to improved employment outcomes for individuals and communities.

Creating a stable labour force for economic growth

By addressing the needs of both employers and workers, the program creates a stable labour force, attracts investment, and facilitates job creation. It recognizes the importance of adapting to evolving market demands, providing targeted training and accommodations, and building strong collaborations to drive economic recovery, growth, and prosperity in Ontario.

One of our founding partners, The Career Foundation, runs SDF programs for job seekers interested in the construction and arboriculture fields. Learn more about their SDF programs on their website.

This just in

The Ontario government has announced the Skills Development Fund: Capital Stream. Learn how to apply for funding to support upgrades or construction of training centres for the skilled trades and other in-demand jobs.