(TORONTO, March 21, 2023) – Ontario colleges are very disappointed to be shut out of the Ontario government’s announced funding for new skilled trades training centres.
“This is incredibly disappointing news for students and employers,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario.
“Ontario’s colleges already have many training facilities that prepare people for successful careers in technology and the trades,” Franklin said. “Many of those facilities are in urgent need of capital repairs. That should be the priority as the province strives to strengthen its workforce.”
The Ontario government announced today it is investing $224 million to build and upgrade private training centres and will spend $75 million over the next three years on operations and programming at the centres.
It is inexplicable that colleges are excluded from the funding. Colleges play a dominant role in skills training, including the delivery of over 80 per cent of the in-class portion of apprenticeship training.
In addition to its support for private training centres, Ontario must start investing in the fiscal sustainability of college programs.
The province faces an escalating shortage of qualified people in key sectors, including the skilled trades, technology and health care. The province estimates nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled at this time.
Ontario’s colleges will be pivotal to producing graduates with the expertise to fill that demand.
Colleges are urging the government to improve and expand the existing infrastructure and work with the sector on a more responsible approach to skills training that will bolster the economy and help more people find rewarding careers.
“Ontario must make a more serious commitment to students and their future careers,” Franklin said. “We’re urging the government to embrace the power of working together to develop a more responsible approach to skills training and filling the demand for more people in the trades.”
About Colleges Ontario
Colleges Ontario is the advocacy organization for the province’s 24 public colleges. The organization advances policies and awareness campaigns to ensure Ontario produces the highly skilled workforce that is essential to Ontario’s prosperity. For more information, visit CollegesOntario.org.
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Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs