ESO and Partners Announce Phase II of Ontario Career Ladders Initiative

Second phase to provide platforms for the development of Career Ladders in three Ontario communities

As the need for higher-level skills becomes increasingly vital for adults to build better careers and higher wages, providing the right kinds of training opportunities has become a priority - particularly as employers struggle to find skilled workers to grow with their businesses. And while there is no specific solution, ‘Career Ladders’ – an approach designed to enhance the skills of vulnerable adults and move them into better jobs, as well as support employers looking to upskill their workforce – has been showing promise around the world. 

Recognizing the immense potential of such an approach, Essential Skills Ontario introduced Career Ladders as an innovative workforce development strategy in the Ontario context, garnering a great deal of interest and enthusiasm over the past few years. Last year, ESO, along with our partners, Literacy Link South Central (LLSC), the Literacy Network of Durham Region (LiNDR) and Literacy Northwest (LNW) began working on a Career Ladders initiative in the province, and are pleased to announce that we are continuing this collaboration for Phase II of the initiative, Career Ladders: The Next Step in Three Communities.
Funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), the second phase will build on the work of the first, where we assessed the viability of career ladders in three communities in the Durham, Brant and Thunder Bay regions. Through our work in Phase I, we developed a guide book - Career Ladders at One – that highlights aspects of the first year of the career ladders planning processes, providing insights into common challenges and offering practices to address those challenges.
Phase II of the initiative will design the necessary platforms so that the three communities can develop and build local industry-specific career ladders. Learnings from this work will provide other communities across Ontario with assistance in how they can organize, develop and launch their own career ladders. The hope is to provide policymakers, practitioners and service providers with a better understanding of how local employment and training assets can be organized in a way that simultaneously supports employers and low-wage and low-skilled workers.  
“Over the last two years, over a thousand individuals have participated in ESO-sponsored presentations on Career Ladders across the province,” says Lesley Brown, Executive Director at ESO. “We are thrilled to be able to build on this momentum and continue this important work with our partners in order to support job-seekers, low-skilled workers, employers and communities alike.”
To read more about career ladders please visit Essential Skills Ontario’s Career Ladders webpage at
To download Career Ladders at One: The Guide Book, please click here
To download Échelons de carrières : Phase I : Le Guide (French), please click here
News Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014