Essential Skills Ontario Announces Collaboration with Loyalist College on Elevate Initiative

Creating better linkages between industries looking for workers and vulnerable adults looking for work Essential Skills Ontario (ESO) is pleased to announce that Loyalist College has signed on to the Elevate: Raising the Grade for Food Processing initiative. Loyalist will be working with ESO and the food processing employers to develop and deliver curriculum that will be used to train vulnerable adults seeking employment in the industry.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program, Elevate is testing whether involving employers directly in the design and delivery of workforce training for low-skilled adults on income support can lead to more positive results than more traditional interventions. The hope is that the training model designed by the project can be replicated and utilized in other industries so that Canadian industry can grow while providing vulnerable individuals with the opportunity to increase their labour force attachment.

“We are thrilled that Loyalist’s Training and Knowledge Centre has been selected to design and deliver training for the Elevate project,” said Loyalist College President, Maureen Piercy. “This new model will help supply workers in the food processing industry with the skills necessary to keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation. By integrating essential skills and job-specific training, we are facilitating the connection of individuals in our region to the workforce, as well as contributing to the meaningful objectives of Essential Skills Ontario. This kind of initiative is extremely important to Loyalist’s mandate.”

The food processing industry is one of the largest growing sectors in Ontario and the largest manufacturing contributor to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. The industry will need to fill at least 30,000 new positions over the next several years, and unfortunately employers in this sector are struggling to find and retain workers. Elevate seeks to help fill this gap by training approximately 250 individuals who currently receive income support in Ontario with skills relevant to in-demand occupations in the food processing and beverage industry at ten food processing sites.

“We are excited to be working with a college that has such a strong commitment to developing training that responds to both the needs of industry and vulnerable individuals,” said Lesley Brown, Executive Director of Essential Skills Ontario. “This is a truly innovative initiative with many potential implications for policy and the broader way in which we deliver training in Ontario and across Canada. Having Loyalist College and their training expertise on board increases our chances of success.”

For more information contact:

Amber Haas, Senior Communications and Marketing Lead
Essential Skills Ontario
(416) 963-5787 Ext. 29
amber@essentialskillsontario.ca

Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing and Communications

Loyalist College

(613) 969-1913, Ext. 2536

klorimer@loyalistc.on.ca

News Date: 
Monday, June 9, 2014