(TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2020) – The Ontario budget investment of $59.5 million to expand micro-credential retraining programs will help more people who are unemployed acquire the expertise to return to the workforce, Ontario’s colleges said today.
“This is a positive step in the province’s plan to promote economic renewal,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “The government clearly recognizes the value of upskilling and retraining in the new economy.
“The new funding will allow more unemployed people to quickly acquire specific skills that equip them to return to the workforce.”
The 2020 Ontario Budget tabled on Thursday announced $59.5 million over three years to support Ontario’s new micro-credentials strategy, which will help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.
The funding will be used to create an online portal of micro-credential training opportunities, develop new micro-credential programs, launch a public awareness campaign and to develop a virtual passport that creates opportunities for people in the programs to pursue further learning.
The government also announced that students enrolled in qualified programs will be eligible to get student assistance.
Expanding micro-credential programs to provide more retraining opportunities was one of the recommendations in a recent white paper, The Future of Ontario’s Workers, by the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy. It was submitted to Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano as part of the minister’s consultations on modernizing higher education.
The paper has also recommended other important steps Ontario must take to produce a strong workforce that will drive economic growth. These include establishing career-focused three-year degree programs at colleges and creating master’s degrees at colleges for college and university graduates in specialized fields such as robotics, cybersecurity and animation.
“Colleges look forward to working with the government to deliver meaningful changes that help more people find rewarding careers,” Franklin said. “Ontario can emerge from the global pandemic as a world leader in higher education.”
For more information:
Manager, Media Relations and Communications