[Greater Sudbury], September 4, 2014: The Government of Ontario must ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers, according to a new report released by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario.
The callcomes as the government works to reinvent the way that many training and employment programs are delivered in the province by giving employers a more direct role in the type of training their workers receive. The bulk of these programs will be supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of training a current or prospective worker, with government chipping in up to $10,000.
“By encouraging businesses to invest more in their employees, these new employer-driven programs could be an important step toward improving Ontario’s economic competitiveness,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they’ll only succeed if they are designed with the needs of employers in mind.”
The report, Moving Forward Together, makes the case that programs should be easy to access for employers. “We recognize that measures are required to maintain the integrity of these programs and minimize fraud,” adds O’Dette. “But government needs to be conscious that onerous red tape and paperwork will only deter employers from participating in the program.”
It also calls on government to foster collaboration among companies in the design of training programs to minimize the risk of poaching and to lower the costs associated with training. This will require government to develop a close relationship with sector associations that are already providing workforce training.
In addition, the report drives home the importance of increasing engagement between government and the business community as most employers are unaware of current training and employment provisions available to them.
“Ontario’s employers are interested and willing to participate in revamped training programs,” says O’Dette. “They recognize that they cannot rely solely on government and external- training sources to meet their workforce needs, and that now is the time to get more engaged in building the skills of their employees.”
“Listening to employers and giving them a more direct role in the type of training workers receive can really help to reinvent the way training programs are delivered. To enhance skills training of Ontario’s workforce employers, government, post-secondary institutions, and service and training providers must work together to develop a common approach” says Geoff Jeffery, Chair of the Board, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.
Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training Programs in Ontario is based on extensive consultations with employers and training providers from across the province.
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For more information, please contact:
Policy and Communications Manager
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
705-673-7133 ext 224
The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce representsover 1,000 businesses and through the participation of its member volunteers on committees and task forces, it works ‘as the Voice of Business’ to influence federal, provincial and local legislation affecting business.