The OCC and ESO Release New Report - Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training in Ontario

New report highlights importance of involving employers in Ontario’s training delivery
Later this year, the Government of Ontario will be redesigning the way in which a portion of training and employment services are delivered in the province. These changes are reflective of the government’s current direction to respond to better equipping Ontario’s workforce with the skills required for the jobs of today, as well as future opportunities – a concern for employees, the business community and government alike. This new system will encourage employers to become more engaged in training and ensure that government-funded employer-driven training accommodates Ontario’s complex labour market realities.  
Through an initiative led by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Essential Skills Ontario (ESO), Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training in Ontario reflects the discussions with, and the perspective of, over 100 employers from different sectors and regions across the province. This report makes a number of important recommendations to the provincial government as it finalizes changes to its employment and training system, including:
  • Ensuring that government-funded programs are accessible to business, as well as minimizing administrative burdens on employers while protecting the integrity of the system.  
  • Providing flexibility in employer contributions so that small and medium-sized employers can participate.
  • Making available flexible, employer-driven training delivery, which provides practical skills and work experience and can create better employment opportunities for groups under-represented in Ontario’s workforce - as well as help them transition into work. 
  • The report also identifies that as Ontario’s training system undergoes significant changes, there may be a dual opportunity to not only assist employers meet their skill needs, but to also help those who are precariously situated in the labour market to find better paths to employment. Research from other jurisdictions indicates that the direct involvement of employers in training can help more vulnerable individuals acquire the skills valued by employers.       

“ESO strongly believes that a more responsive and flexible training system with meaningful employer involvement can benefit Ontario’s business community, while simultaneously providing economic opportunities lower-skilled adults and disadvantaged youth,” says Lesley Brown, Executive Director at Essential Skills Ontario.

One of the key elements to a more seamless training system in the province is by bringing together stakeholders to help bridge essential connections. “Training providers will play a crucial role in connecting employers with workers,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to working closely with them to make these new innovative programs a success.”
Read Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training in Ontario here
News Date: 
Thursday, September 4, 2014