ISSN 2560-7790

Part I: 2017-18 Published Plan

Ministry overview

Mandate

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development directs and shapes Ontario’s postsecondary education and employment and training systems. It provides operating and capital funding to publicly assisted colleges and universities, establishes provincial objectives for the use of public funds and designs frameworks for achieving these objectives.

The ministry ensures that high quality postsecondary education is accessible to all qualified candidates through tuition regulation, operating grants, capital investments, student assistance, targeted funding and accountability mechanisms.

In the area of employment and training, the ministry develops policy directions for adult education and labour market training. The ministry also manages and funds provincial employment and training programs and services, including adult literacy and basic skills, and undertakes labour market research and planning.

Ministry contribution to priority outcomes

People in every community and occupation have knowledge and skills that help to build a strong and successful province. Ontario’s economic prosperity and competitive advantage are increasingly dependent on a highly skilled, diverse and adaptive workforce.

The ministry is working to ensure that all students have access to:

  • A high-quality postsecondary education in their communities and in the online space
  • Teaching and learning modes that are interactive and engaging
  • Ontario credentials that have the highest currency in the labour market

It is imperative to prepare a highly skilled workforce that can drive the economy of the future, and ensure the continuing strength of the province and the well-being of its communities. To build this highly skilled workforce, the ministry supports a network of community-based agencies that deliver employment and training services to Ontarians. This includes a modern apprenticeship system that serves the needs of emerging and growing industries and ensures businesses are active participants in skills training, and working closely with training institutions.

Ontario’s path forward is about meeting workforce demand in a high skill, innovative economy, while ensuring all Ontarians have the skills to succeed. This is made up of two key components:

  • Equipping all people with the skills and competencies that they need, focusing on those who face barriers to success or who need support to keep up with the demands of a changing economy; and
  • Meeting labour market demands for the highly skilled, innovative and diversified, technology-intensive sectors of the future economy.

Through the Program Review, Renewal and Transformation (PRRT) process, the ministry is leading significant transformation activities to better deliver services to Ontarians, while managing growth. The 2017-18 decision-making cycle advances last year’s plan as well as the year-round work completed by the ministry.

The ministry works across government and with our many public sector partners to:

  • Create a more seamless, integrated client-focused employment and training system to improve the experience for workers and job seekers and to help Ontarians prepare for the jobs of the future.
  • Modernize OSAP to increase access to high-quality and affordable college and university education.
  • Build on the strength of the province’s education, training and skills development systems to prepare Ontarians for the demands of the technology-driven knowledge economy.

Ministry programs and activities

Creating a more seamless, integrated, client-focused employment and training system

Employment and training services transformation

The government currently invests more than $1 billion annually in a range of employment and training programs that support unemployed Ontarians, improve their skills and help them find jobs, as well as assist employers in addressing their workforce needs. Through Employment Ontario, employment services and training programs serve approximately one million people every year, helping them make career choices, access training and find good jobs.

While the employment and training system continues to support unemployed workers, it must also respond to the needs of the changing economy and offer support to other groups, including employed workers who need to build their skills to adapt or find their next job.

Second Career was established in response to the global recession of 2008–09. While it was successful in helping retrain workers who were laid off following the recession, the global economic landscape continues to change. The emerging needs of Ontarians require that programs, such as Second Career, designed for the challenges of yesterday, be recalibrated to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Over the next year, the Province will be working with its Employment Ontario service delivery partners, education and training institutions, employers, workers and job‐seekers to modernize key employment and training programs, such as Second Career and the Canada–Ontario Job Grant, which support unemployed or employed workers who want to build on their skills, as well as employers with training needs. This plan will ensure that every adult learner, regardless of their background, skills and experience, will be supported to access the best services to meet their learning goals.

Apprenticeship modernization

We know that to compete and succeed in this fast-paced global economy, Ontario must build its highly skilled workforce to meet the needs of the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Apprenticeship training is a key part of building the well-educated and highly skilled workforce the province needs to compete in the current and future economy.

As a result of the government’s investments and support for the apprenticeship system, new annual apprenticeship registrations have grown from 17,100 in 2002-03 to more than 25,600 in 2015-16.

The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce expert panel recommended that the ministry consult with stakeholders to develop a modernized apprenticeship system to reflect the needs of the labour market and focus on the integration of young people in the trades.

Budget 2017 announced that the government will be working with key partners to identify opportunities to modernize the apprenticeship system, focusing on simplifying the experience for apprentices, enhancing access and awareness of apprenticeships as a career pathway, and increasing completions.

To support this work, the ministry will be inviting apprentices, employers, trainers, and other partners to take part in engagement sessions to discuss apprenticeship modernization this summer in Toronto.

The goal of the sessions is to work together to develop an action plan that will result in an improved experience for apprentices and employers to help build Ontario’s highly skilled workforce.

Supporting employment for people with disabilities

Working with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the ministry is supporting the development of a Provincial Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities that will:

  • Establish a cohesive made in Ontario vision with goals, priorities and desired outcomes to ensure Ontarians have access to a continuum of employment and training services;
  • Provide a better service experience through streamlined access to employment and training services that recognize the varied needs and employment goals of individual clients; and,
  • Engage employers as active partners in breaking down employment barriers for people with disabilities and promoting inclusive workplaces.

Increasing access to high-quality and affordable college and university education

Ontario’s highly educated workforce is one of its greatest strengths. More students — 85.5% — are graduating from high school than ever before. And in 2016, the province achieved a 68% postsecondary attainment rate, higher than rates for any country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Ontario’s world-class education system provides learners, young and old, with opportunities to access high-quality education and training programs, giving them the knowledge and skills they need for success in the modern economy.

By making postsecondary education more accessible and affordable, the government is helping people pursue or retrain for their career of choice.

Ontario Student Assistance Plan

In the 2016 Budget, the Ontario Government announced one of the largest transformations of student financial assistance in North America, making postsecondary education more accessible and affordable for hundreds of thousands of students. The new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) will allow more students to get a postsecondary education, make it easier to apply and provide financial support to those who need it most.

In 2017-18, the government will:

  • Replace most existing Ontario grants and Ontario education and tuition tax credits with a single up-front grant.
  • Increase weekly loan limits for all students and continue to index these annually to inflation.

In 2018-19, the government will:

  • Reduce the amount parents and spouses are expected to contribute, further increasing levels of support to students from middle to upper income families and married students.
  • Work with universities and colleges to implement net tuition billing, which means a student will only be billed what they actually owed once OSAP grants and loans and institutional aid are taken into account.

The new OSAP will provide more financial support than ever before, including free tuition for hundreds of thousands of low and middle income students.

In addition, the 2017 Budget included further OSAP enhancements that will:

  • Better assist families that have saved for their children’s postsecondary education by ensuring savings from Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) will not reduce the amount of financial assistance provided to students through OSAP.
  • Help remove financial barriers to postsecondary education for Indigenous students. The government is working with Indigenous partners to identify additional targeted OSAP supports that will address economic barriers and improve access to postsecondary education for Indigenous students. Beginning in 2017-18, Ontario will exempt Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) from the OSAP assessment for Indigenous students and will waive the expected student contribution for students who identify as an Indigenous learner.
  • Help make the transition into the workforce easier, increasing the minimum salary an individual needs to earn from $25,000 to $35,000 before they start repaying the provincial portion of OSAP loans.

Building on Our Strengths

The government also continues to build a strong postsecondary system that supports student success and ensures the overall sustainability of the sector. Ontario’s approach to differentiation seeks to focus and build on the existing well-established strengths of individual colleges and universities, and enable institutions to work together as complementary parts of a system.

In order to provide people with the best education and opportunities, the system needs to be adaptive, supportive and sustainable. Over the last two years, the Province has been working with universities and colleges to reform their funding formulas, effective 2017–18. The new funding model will support a renewed focus on providing high-quality outcomes for students by tying a portion of college and university funding to performance outcomes and areas of institutional strength. Using both institutional and system-level metrics, the government will work with colleges and universities to set clear performance targets through strategic mandate agreements (SMAs).

The agreements outline how the mission and activities of each college and university align with our government’s priorities, student needs and the economy. They will also help us better plan for the future, support a higher quality of education and improve student success, while avoiding unnecessary duplication across the postsecondary system.

We expect all institutions to have new SMAs by summer 2017.

International Students

In the 21st century global economy, it is critical for our postsecondary institutions to attract top talent from around the world. International education enriches the academic, social and cultural life of our colleges and universities, from classrooms to research laboratories, and creates stronger ties between Ontario and other global jurisdictions.

International students are ideal candidates to become permanent residents. They have earned a high quality, recognized Ontario postsecondary education credential, developed social and cultural networks and have settled comfortably in Ontario.

The ministry is working with partner ministries (e.g. Education, International Trade, Citizenship and Immigration) to develop a comprehensive International Postsecondary Education Strategy that builds on the strengths of our postsecondary system, reinforces our reputation for quality, and makes Ontario a welcoming destination and partner of choice.

Capital/Infrastructure

Ontario is committed to developing a sustainable, transparent, student-centred postsecondary sector, where students have access to high-quality programs closer to home and where Ontario’s investments contribute to building a strong economy.

Ontario will invest up to $180 million in the creation of two new university-led postsecondary sites in Milton and Brampton that are focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). In Budget 2016, the government announced plans for a new postsecondary campus in Markham for about 4,000 students. The project will be a partnership between York University and Seneca College.

To commemorate the college sector’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the government is providing a total of $50 million in capital grants. This funding acknowledges the vital contribution our colleges make to the province’s economic growth and vitality.

The ministry also collaborated with the federal government, colleges, universities and Aboriginal Institutes to implement the Postsecondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund in Ontario. Shared investments of more than $1.9 billion from 2016–17 to 2018–19 will enhance and modernize research facilities on campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

Ontario will be working with the postsecondary sector on a capital strategy, recognizing that capital investment must look to the future of a growing, connected world where investments in infrastructure and technology are critical to jobs and the economy.

Ensuring safe and effective learning environments for Ontario’s postsecondary students remains a priority for Ontario’s ongoing investments in the sector. That is why the government will continue its investments in critical maintenance repairs and upgrades to existing postsecondary facilities. The government has committed to increasing the annual funding it provides for facilities renewal at colleges and universities from $26 million in 2014-15 to $100 million by 2019-20.

Increasing Participation of Indigenous Students in Postsecondary Education

The government is committed to strengthening the pathways to postsecondary education and training for Indigenous learners, while recognizing and building the capacity of the nine Indigenous-owned and operated Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario.

The province is investing about $200 million over three years to support key initiatives that will help more First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners access high-quality postsecondary education and training opportunities.

This includes an investment of $56 million over three years to enhance the capacity and sustainability of nine publicly funded Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario.

The institutes provide a pathway for Indigenous learners to successfully advance their educational and career goals in culturally appropriate and safe learning environments that are close to home and are run and governed by Indigenous communities. They offer postsecondary education and training programs, in direct response to local labour market needs, to over 1,000 students annually. On average, about 300 learners graduate from Aboriginal Institutes every year.

Ontario is also making an investment of $45 million over three years to remove financial barriers to postsecondary education for Indigenous students. This includes waiving the $3,000 student contribution requirement for OSAP and exempting federal funding received through the Postsecondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) as a resource for the purpose of determining OSAP eligibility and funding level.

There are approximately 5,500 self-identified Indigenous learners on OSAP, and a significant proportion of these will receive larger grants, and will be eligible for free average tuition. With these changes to OSAP, more Indigenous students will be able to access the program, and take advantage of enhancements that raise the level of assistance provided to them.

Mental health

Ontario is committed to a comprehensive approach to transforming the mental health system through a clear mission, forward-thinking vision and long-term strategies for change.

The ministry is transforming services so that all Ontarians have timely access to an integrated system of coordinated and effective promotion, prevention, early intervention, and community support and treatment programs.

In May 2017, the government announced an additional investment of $6 million per year for three years to improve mental health supports and services to Ontario’s postsecondary students. This investment will result in a total investment of $45 million over three years or $15 million per year.

This new funding will help colleges and universities develop and expand mental health services in areas such as prevention and early intervention, supports for Indigenous students, addictions and substance abuse, or suicide prevention.

Key ongoing commitments include Good2Talk/ Allo, j’écoute, a postsecondary mental health helpline, available 24/7 to all postsecondary students in Ontario in both English and French, providing direct counselling and referral service.

Envisioning a French-language university

Ontario is committed to supporting a vibrant learning environment for francophone postsecondary programs and services. In 2016, the government created the French-language University Planning Board consisting of representatives from Ontario’s francophone community with a strong understanding of, and expertise in, francophone/bilingual postsecondary education.

The Planning Board will provide advice to the government on the design elements – including potential affiliation opportunities and partnerships-, governance models, location and costs for the university, in order to facilitate access to French-language postsecondary education for more students.

Building Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce for the Modern Economy

Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy will help the province achieve its vision of inclusive economic growth where all Ontarians are equipped with the skills and competencies they need to find meaningful work, adapt to changing technologies, create new businesses and contribute to their communities.

Through transformative initiatives cutting across the spectrum of K-12, PSE, apprenticeship, skills development, and the workplace, the strategy is designed to ensure everyone finds their place in an economy that is becoming more technology-based and knowledge-driven every day.

Experiential Learning

Ontario has one of the most highly educated and skilled workforces in the world, but graduates often face challenges landing their first job if they lack work-related experience.

As announced by the government on April 19, 2017, Ontario is helping young people prepare for successful careers by creating 40,000 new work-related learning opportunities over three years for both K-12 and postsecondary students, as well as recent graduates through its Career Kick-Start Strategy.

Practical experience and on-the-job opportunities not only benefit students by helping them enter the workforce, they benefit employers by addressing their need for talent and experience.

Career Kick-Start includes the following initiatives focused on the postsecondary students:

  • Supporting more than 3,000 high-impact, industry-led research internships through the Mitacs Accelerate program, leveraging a new federal investment.
  • Enhancing supports to help all postsecondary students access high-quality, in-demand, skills-focused online content through initiatives like providing full access to LinkedIn Lynda.com courses free of charge through the eCampusOntario website. LinkedIn Lynda.com offers over 5,000 courses in business, technology and creative skills, developed and taught by industry experts and educators.
  • Renewing support for the TalentEdge program delivered by Ontario Centres of Excellence to support 56 additional fellowships and 84 additional internships per year for college students, undergraduates, graduate students, recent Masters and PhD graduates, and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Establishing a new $68-million Career Ready Fund to help postsecondary institutions and employers create more opportunities for students and recent graduates. This will include launching a new program to help employers offer more workplace learning opportunities for postsecondary students and creating new digital tools to help match students with employers.

Ontario Lifelong Learning and Skills Plan

Ontario is responding to the changing economy by making sure Ontarians have the support they need to adapt and thrive at every stage of their career.

In Budget 2017, the government introduced the Ontario Lifelong Learning and Skills Plan, which is about opening doors and creating opportunities for adult learners and workers.

Ontario will enhance its adult education system, making it more learner-centred by improving pathways and expanding services and programs that will provide around 47,000 more adults with easier access to skills training and upgrading. This will help adult learners meet their employment and education goals as quickly as possible. The plan will include an expansion and improvement of the ministry’s Literacy and Basic Skills program, and fund technical and workplace-based skills training pilots.

This investment will also make it easier for learners to find programs that match their individual needs. It will include on-the-job training that will serve workers and employers with accessible workplace skills training.

To guide the implementation of this strategy, including advice on how to support those impacted by new technology in the workplace, the government will be bringing together employers, educators, labour and other stakeholders as part of a Planning and Partnership Table.

The government will also be investing in providing labour market information through a new website to help individuals and employers make decisions, such as choosing a career, developing educational and training programs, or undertaking workforce planning.

Key Performance Indicators

Postsecondary Education

  • Increase Ontario’s postsecondary education attainment rate to 70% by 2020
  • Increase graduation rates to 80% for university and 70% of students in college

Employment Ontario

  • Increase employment rate or further education/training after completing an employment service program from 82% to 83.4%.

Government Priorities

Create a more seamless, integrated, client-focused employment and training system

Initiatives

  • Employment and Training Services Transformation
  • Apprenticeship modernization
  • Supporting employment for people with disabilities

Increase access to high-quality and affordable college and university education

Initiatives

  • Transforming Ontario Student Assistance Plan
  • Attract and retain the best and brightest talent from around the world
  • Increase participation of Indigenous students in postsecondary education
  • Comprehensive approach to transform the mental health system

Build Ontario’s Highly-Skilled Workforce for the Modern Economy

Initiatives

  • Experiential Learning
  • Ontario Lifelong Learning and Skills Plan

Modernize Infrastructure and Transportation Networks

Initiatives

  • Capital investments in colleges and universities

Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2017-18 ($M)

Operating
7,741.8
Capital
668.4
Total
8,410.3

Note: Total amount includes statutory appropriations and consolidations. Operating and Capital Assets are not included.

Highlights of 2016-17 Achievements

Employment and Training

  • Launched SkillsAdvance Ontario, a sector-focused workforce development pilot to fund partnerships that offer pre-employment training, placement into real job vacancies identified by partner employers, and post-employment retention and advancement support for low-skilled adult jobseekers.
  • Supported the Ministry of Labour and the Ontario College of Trades in implementing Tony Dean recommendations. Worked collaboratively with the federal government to improve labour market opportunities for Ontarians.
  • Through Employment Ontario, helped:
    • more than 24,900 Ontarians register for training in the skilled trades as an apprentice
    • more than 43,000 learners through the Literacy and Basic Skills Program
    • Ontarians (including employers) access Employment Service 675,000 times
    • more than 7,100 Ontarians through Second Career funding.
  • Introduced a new suite of youth employment programs designed to help youth across a broader range of employment needs.
  • Continued to evaluate and continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of employment and training programs.
  • Engaged stakeholders to inform the Forum of Labour Market Ministers’ discussions on potential changes to the Labour Market Transfer Agreements to better meet clients’ needs.
  • Supported and engaged with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI) to ensure that its research, innovation and capacity building priorities are aligned with the Ministry’s strategic direction and priorities.

Postsecondary education

  • Continued investments in student financial assistance that has resulted in more than double the number of students qualifying for aid and increasing enrolment by 38% over the past 12 years.
  • Initiated the largest transformation of student financial assistance in Ontario’s history to make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable for hundreds of thousands of students.
  • Through the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), with the Government of Canada, provided more than $950 million to enhance and modernize research facilities at colleges and universities (including Aboriginal Institutes) across Ontario.
  • Collected and published detailed information on public college, university and private career college graduate employment outcomes by posting Key Performance Indicators online, to help students make more informed choices.
  • Invested an additional $5 million in funding to support high-quality postsecondary education and training at Ontario’s nine Aboriginal Institutes. Ontario supported the province’s first standalone degree program run and governed by an Aboriginal Institute.

Building on our achievements

Ontario’s investments in postsecondary education over the last decade have benefited students and have resulted in a highly skilled workforce that contributes to Ontario’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

Significant accomplishments have been achieved since 2002:

  • More students than ever are participating in postsecondary education. Between 2002-03 and 2015-16, enrolment in postsecondary education increased by 38%.
  • Students are graduating at a higher rate than in the past, with 77% of university undergraduates completing university and 67% completing college.
  • University and college graduates are seeing higher employment rates upon graduation:
    • 83% of 2015-16 college graduates are employed within six months of graduation
    • 87% of 2013 university graduates were employed within six months of graduation and 94% of these graduates were employed two years after graduation.
  • Better financial support is available to students and more than 380,000 students received financial assistance in 2015-16.
  • Graduate enrolments increased approximately 65% between 2002-03 and 2016-17 leading to more talent in the areas of research and innovation.

Ontario will continue to invest in the postsecondary education sector to ensure colleges, universities and students have the resources they need. Investments in education and skills training play a critical role in preparing people to compete globally and to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy.

Over the coming year, the government will continue to make strategic investments in postsecondary education to build on successes in a sustainable way.

Strengthened Support for Employers

Increased support is also being provided for employer-driven, job-related workplace training, to help close the gap between Ontario and peer jurisdictions in this area. The benefits to employers and employees, as well as to communities and the economy, suggest that workplace training is a valuable investment and that it should play a larger role in growing a highly skilled workforce for Ontario.

As of March 31, 2017, Ontario’s investment in the Canada-Ontario Job Grant has supported more than 38,300 training opportunities for new or current employees in Ontario.

As part of the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, two pilot programs were launched that are designed to test different ways of working with employers to meet workforce needs.

  • Canada-Ontario Job Grant: UpSkill pilot supports new approaches to sector-specific essential and technical skills training to meet employers’ needs.
  • Canada-Ontario Job Grant: Customized Training pilot supports firm-specific training for employers, where such training does not exist and employers do not have the capacity to develop it on their own.

Ministry priorities — postsecondary education

  • Raise Ontario’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 70% by 2020.
  • Ensure a college or university space is available for every qualified student.
  • Provide students with a high quality learning experience and credentials that equip students with the skills for success.
  • Increase the quality of postsecondary education and strengthen accountability so that students are provided with an internationally competitive system that gives them the skills they need to get jobs in the 21st century economy.
  • Close achievement gaps for under-represented groups including Indigenous students, students with disabilities, First Generation students and Francophone students.
  • Improve access to postsecondary education through a strong, modernized student financial assistance program.
  • Improve access to French-language postsecondary education programs and services in central and southwestern Ontario.
  • Strengthen transparency and accountability between the government, institutions and the public.
  • Work with sector partners — including colleges, universities and employers — to assess key outcomes, including the labour market readiness and success of graduates.
  • Continue to build a strong postsecondary system that supports student success and ensures the overall financial sustainability of the sector.

Ministry priorities — employment and training

  • Continue delivery of quality employment and training, apprenticeship, literacy and labour market programs.
  • Continue work to integrate employment and training services across government with Employment Ontario to give individuals and employers easier and better access to the services that meet their needs.
  • Through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, launched in 2014-15, continue to encourage more employers to support existing or new employees in obtaining the skills required to fill and succeed in available jobs.
  • Continue to support Ontario’s young people through the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy with full implementation of Youth Job Connection and Youth Job Link.
  • Continue support directed at employers, apprentices and training institutions to promote access to and completion of apprenticeships – including enhanced support for special apprenticeship programs.
  • Ensure the employment and training system connects job seekers with employers and helps Ontarians find the jobs that are right for them.
  • Continue to work in partnership with Indigenous communities on the development of flexible policies, programs and services that respect and respond to the diversity within Indigenous communities.
  • Introduce a new, more consistent approach to assessing clients’ unique barriers to employment and tracking clients’ journeys through the system.
  • Provide customized workplace training programs that will give individuals relevant work experience in high-demand occupations.
  • Make changes to the Second Career program that will ensure support for all eligible clients while enabling the government to invest in other key employment programs.
  • Continue to work with the Ministry of Labour and the Ontario College of Trades to strengthen Ontario’s apprenticeship system.
  • Work with key partners to identify opportunities to modernize the apprenticeship system, focusing on simplifying the experience for apprentices, enhancing access and awareness of apprenticeship as a career pathway and increasing completions.
  • Work to implement recommendations coming out of the Auditor General of Ontario’s Employment Ontario Value-for-Money audit.

Ministry priorities — highly skilled workforce

  • With the Ministry of Education, implement Ontario’s Career Kick-Start Strategy to help young people prepare for successful careers. The strategy will invest $190 million over three years to create 40,000 new work-related learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary students, as well as recent graduates.
  • Work with the Ministries of Education and Citizenship and Immigration as well as adult education sector stakeholders to implement the Ontario Lifelong Learning and Skills Plan, which will help approximately 47,000 more Ontario adults, over three years, gain access to education and training programs to improve their language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills.
  • Establish and support the Planning and Partnership Table, a forum of business labour, education, government and other leaders that will guide and inform the province’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy, advise on and support specific actions, and act as strategy champions.
  • Continue to develop a new labour market information website to help individuals and employers make decisions such as choosing a career, developing educational or training programs, or undertaking workforce planning.

Agencies, Boards and Commissions

Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)
Description: Assists the minister to improve all aspects of postsecondary education, with a focus on the quality of, and access to, postsecondary education, and enhancing the accountability of postsecondary education institutions. The agency also:
• Recommends targets to be achieved and performance measures to be used to evaluate the postsecondary education sector
• Evaluates the postsecondary education sector, reports to the minister and makes results public
• Conducts research and encourages collaboration among institutions
2017-18 Expenditure Estimates: 5,000,000
2017-18 Revenue Estimates: n/a
2016-17 Expenditure Interim Actuals: 5,000,000
2016-17 Revenue Interim Actuals: n/a
2015-16 Expenditure Actuals: 4,930,718
2015-16 Revenue Actuals: n/a

Training Completion Assurance Fund Advisory Board (TCAF)

Description: Provides advice to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges (PCC) on the administration of TCAF, including financial administration of the fund; criteria for assessing financial viability of PCCs; general guidelines for responding to PCC closures; and responses to specific PCC closures.

*TCAF is a Special Purpose Account (SPA), authorized by the Ministry of Finance within the Consolidated Revenue Fund (liability account) and represents money received or collected by Ontario for a special purpose.
2017-18 Expenditure Estimates: n/a
2017-18 Revenue Estimates: n/a
2016-17 Expenditure Interim Actuals: n/a
2016-17 Revenue Interim Actuals: n/a
2015-16 Expenditure Actuals: n/a
2015-16 Revenue Actuals: n/a

Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB)
Description: Makes recommendations to the minister on applications for the minister’s consent to offer degree programs and/or use the term “university” from new and existing private Ontario degree-granting institutions, out-of-province institutions, Ontario colleges and all others not authorized to award degrees by an Ontario statute.
2017-18 Expenditure Estimates: 970,000
2017-18 Revenue Estimates: 155,000
2016-17 Expenditure Interim Actuals: 821,304
2016-17 Revenue Interim Actuals: 135,000
2015-16 Expenditure Actuals: 759,870
2015-16 Revenue Actuals: 95,000

Organizational Chart description

  • Minister – Deb Matthews
    • Parliamentary Assistant – Han Dong
    • Deputy Minister – Sheldon Levy
      • Executive Assistant – Sarah Robb (Acting)
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, MOHLTC, Health Human Resources Strategy Division – Denise Cole
        Reports to Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
      • Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister on Aboriginal Issues –Laurie Robinson
      • Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister on University Data Consultation – Bob Truman
      • Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister on Technology Enabled Education – Dr. Nancy Walton
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Highly Skilled Workforce Division – Erin McGinn
        • Executive Assistant – Christine Bygrave (Acting)
      • Communications Branch – Ian Ross
      • Chief Information Officer / Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Services I & IT Cluster – Soussan Tabari
        Reports to reports to the deputy ministers of the Ministry of Education; Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development; Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; Ministry of Municipal Affairs; and Ministry of Housing
        • Executive Assistant – Marie Dearlove
        • Strategic Planning and Business Relationship Management Branch – Lolita Singh
        • Case and Grant Management Solutions Branch – Sanaul Haque
        • Data Collection and Decision Support Solution Branch – Carm Scarfo
        • iACCESS Solutions Branch – Sanjay Madan
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Training Division – Shelley Unterlander (Acting)
        • Executive Assistant – Kelly Longley (Acting)
        • Finance, Analysis and Systems Support Branch – Todd Kilpatrick
        • Program Delivery Support Branch – Jacqueline Cureton
        • Organizational and Business Excellence Branch – Sandra DiProspero
        • Western Region Branch – Heather Cross (Acting)
        • Central Region Branch – Patricia Quattrociocchi (Acting)
        • Eastern Region Branch – Jennifer Barton
        • Northern Region Branch – Andrew Irvine
        • Regional Review – Jan Hughes (Acting)
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Programs Division – Glenn Craney
        • Executive Assistant – Fiona Hack (Acting)
        • Programs Branch – Jen Liptrot
        • Strategic Policy and Initiatives Branch – Zoë Kroeker (Acting)
        • Research and Planning Branch – Helen Cranley (Acting)
        • Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board – James Brown
        • Employment and Training Services Integration (Vacant)
        • Information Management and Strategy Branch (Vacant)
        • Indigenous Education Branch (Vacant)
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Postsecondary Education Division – David Carter-Whitney
        • Executive Assistant – Rita Jaroka (Acting)
        • Postsecondary Finance and Information Management Branch – Kelly Shields
        • Student Financial Assistance Branch – Maria Mellas (Acting)
        • Postsecondary Accountability Branch – Linda Hawke
        • OSAP Transformation – Noah Morris (Acting)
        • Private Career Colleges Branch – Carol Strachan
        • Postsecondary Education Financial Information System Project – Barry McCartan
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management and Services Division – Bohodar Rubashewsky
        Reports to the deputy ministers of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
        • Executive Assistant – Kate Joakim (Acting)
        • Legal Services Branch – Shannon Chace
        • Ontario Internal Audit Education Audit Service Team – Warren McCay
        • Corporate Finance and Services Branch – Sandra Yee (Acting)
        • Strategic Human Resources Branch – Lisa Brisebois
        • Corporate Coordination Branch – Sarah Truscott
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, French Language, Aboriginal Learning and Research Division – Denys Giguère (Acting)
        Reports to the deputy ministers of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
        • Executive Assistant – Arianne Matte (Acting)
        • French-Language Education, Policies and Programs Branch – Lilian Patry (Acting)
        • French-Language Teaching & Learning Branch (Vacant)
    • Agencies, Boards, and Commissions:
      • Boards of Governors of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology
      • Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
      • Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board
      • Training Completion Assurance Fund Advisory Board (TCAF)

Download printer-friendly organization chart (JPG, 79 Ko).

Detailed Financial Information

Table 2: Total Operating and Capital Summary by Vote

Votes/ProgramsEstimates
2017-18
$
Change from
2016-17 Estimates
$
Change from
2016-17 Estimates
%
Estimates
2016-17footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals
2016-17footnote 1
$
Actuals
2015-16footnote 1
$
Operating expense
Ministry Administration
20,677,400
870,000
4.4
19,807,400
19,807,400
20,170,016
Postsecondary Education
6,654,812,800
376,697,900
6.0
6,278,114,900
6,196,149,200
6,095,146,051
Employment Ontario
1,237,442,600
(89,700,300)
(6.8)
1,327,142,900
1,242,883,900
1,328,434,960
Strategic Policy and Programs
22,825,200
(51,000)
(0.2)
22,876,200
18,876,200
16,832,829
Total Operating Expense to be Voted
7,935,758,000
287,816,600
3.8
7,647,941,400
7,477,716,700
7,460,583,856
Statutory Appropriations
61,606,014
(1,999,000)
(3.1)
63,605,014
63,605,014
55,381,536
Ministry Total Operating Expense
7,997,364,014
285,817,600
3.7
7,711,546,414
7,541,321,714
7,515,965,392
Consolidation Adjustment - Schools
(64,084,700)
(10,534,900)
19.7
(53,549,800)
(63,619,300)
(56,605,954)
Consolidation Adjustment - Colleges
(166,465,200)
12,239,500
(6.8)
(178,704,700)
(209,552,500)
(247,842,738)
Consolidation Adjustment - Ontario Student Loan Trustfootnote 2
-
-
 
-
-
(9,673,261)
Operating Expense Adjustment - Student Assistance Interest Expense Reclassificationfootnote 2
(48,979,900)
(11,654,500)
31.2
(37,325,400)
(37,325,400)
(13,539,300)
Operating Expense Adjustment - Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account Reclassification
24,000,000
24,000,000
 
-
-
-
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments
7,741,834,214
299,867,700
4.0
7,441,966,514
7,230,824,514
7,188,304,139
Operating assets
Postsecondary Education
408,301,000
(574,700,000)
(58.5)
983,001,000
983,001,000
916,654,136
Employment Ontario
2,001,000
-
-
2,001,000
2,001,000
726,400
Total Operating Assets to be Voted
410,302,000
(574,700,000)
(58.3)
985,002,000
985,002,000
917,380,536
Ministry Total Operating Assets
410,302,000
(574,700,000)
(58.3)
985,002,000
985,002,000
917,380,536
Capital expense
Postsecondary Education
624,440,600
(9,345,000)
(1.5)
633,785,600
624,124,700
269,907,500
Employment Ontario
14,001,000
(12,500,000)
(47.2)
26,501,000
26,501,000
26,492,308
Total Capital Expense to be Voted
638,441,600
(21,845,000)
(3.3)
660,286,600
650,625,700
296,399,808
Statutory Appropriations
5,992,300
642,000
12.0
5,350,300
5,350,300
5,194,948
Ministry Total Capital Expense
644,433,900
(21,203,000)
(3.2)
665,636,900
655,976,000
301,594,756
Consolidation Adjustment - Colleges
51,077,900
85,030,600
 
(33,952,700)
(79,496,900)
165,229,081
Capital Expense Adjustment - Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account Reclassification
100,000,000
100,000,000
 
-
-
-
Consolidation Adjustment - Strategic Investment Fund
(127,090,000)
(127,090,000)
 
-
-
-
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments
668,421,800
36,737,600
5.8
631,684,200
576,479,100
466,823,837
Capital assets
Postsecondary Education
5,597,900
1,641,200
41.5
3,956,700
3,956,700
4,264,408
Total Capital Assets to be Voted
5,597,900
1,641,200
41.5
3,956,700
3,956,700
4,264,408
Ministry Total Capital Assets
5,597,900
1,641,200
41.5
3,956,700
3,956,700
4,264,408
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)
8,410,256,014
336,605,300
4.2
8,073,650,714
7,807,303,614
7,655,127,976

Ministry Programs (Operating and Capital Expense - Voted)

Pie chart showing Ministry Programs Operating Capital Expense - Voted: Postsecondary Education 84.9%, Employment Ontario 14.6%, Strategic Policy and Programs 0.3%, Ministry Administration 0.2%

Appendix: 2016-17 Annual Report

2016-17 Achievements

In the past year, the government has made tangible progress on making Ontario North America’s leading jurisdiction for talent, skills and training. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has contributed to this commitment by improving and investing in a high quality postsecondary education, employment and training system to ensure the province has a highly skilled, diverse and adaptive workforce.

Key Initiatives and results

Our goal is to have the most educated people and highly skilled workforce in the world, one that can drive the economy of the future and ensure the continuing strength of the province and well-being of its communities.

Transforming postsecondary education

Ontario is putting student success and experience at the centre of the postsecondary education transformation agenda. This will ensure that Ontario’s colleges and universities continue to prepare students to take advantage of rapidly developing opportunities in the knowledge-driven economy and provide the best value.

The province is continuing to invest in and transform its robust education and training system to ensure it is student-centred and innovative. And, with the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and entrepreneurship skills at the core, students will be well prepared for the workforce of today and tomorrow.

This will ensure that Ontario’s publicly assisted colleges and universities continue to:

  • drive creativity and knowledge in our communities
  • foster active and engaged citizens who have the right skills, are prepared for the labour market in the short- and long-term, and are adaptable and committed to lifelong learning

Increased funding

Despite challenging economic times, the 2016 Budget continued to invest in the postsecondary sector to ensure that students, colleges and universities have the resources they need. By 2016-17, funding to postsecondary sector had increased $23 billion, or by 85%, over 2002-03 levels.

Removing financial barriers to postsecondary education

A postsecondary education is the most important investment a student can make in themselves and their future. The government has taken steps to ensure that all students who want to get a postsecondary education can afford it, while providing institutions with the financial stability they need to provide a high-quality postsecondary education.

As announced in the 2016 Budget, the government is transforming student financial aid to improve access, reduce complexity and better target aid to those who need it most.

The province has introduced a suite of changes in recent years to make the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) simpler and fairer for students.

Starting in 2017-18, Ontario will consolidate most existing grants into the new OSAP, an integrated student financial aid program. This grant will be available for all types of students, including mature and married students.

For the 2017-18 school years, some key changes include:

  • provide grant-only aid to students from families with annual incomes of $50,000 or less
  • provide greater access to non-repayable aid for mature students
  • issue grants greater than average tuition for eligible students with financial need from families with incomes under $50,000

Highlights of OSAP include:

  • Almost 60% of full-time Ontario university students and almost 70% of full-time Ontario college students – more than 380,000 students – receive OSAP to help finance their postsecondary studies.
  • In 2015-16, Ontario issued almost $1.3 billion in grants and loans – 74% of this assistance was money that students won’t have to repay.
  • Investments in student financial aid over the past 12 years have resulted in more than double the number of students qualifying for aid, while enrolment has increased by 38%.

In 2013-14, Ontario implemented a new four-year tuition framework that caps annual tuition fee increases at an average of 3% — down from 5%, making it easier for students to pay their tuition. In December 2016, the ministry extended the existing tuition framework for two years (to August 2019), and continued to engage with the postsecondary education sector and students on a new tuition framework.

Building on our strengths

To ensure quality and sustainability, Ontario, after extensive consultations, developed a new postsecondary education system funding model. The new funding model:

  • focuses on student success and outcomes
  • promotes differentiation by linking funding to Strategic Mandate Agreements
  • provides additional stability to institutions through enrolment planning and predictable funding

In January 2017, the Ministry initiated the 2017-20 Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) process. Implementation of the new funding model will begin in 2017-18 and will support institutions’ commitments to differentiation.

Capital expansion

Since 2003, Ontario has invested $4.1 billion in capital funding for Ontario colleges and universities.

The 2016 Budget confirmed the government’s plan to provide $3 billion in capital grants to postsecondary institutions over the next 10 years. This includes new capital projects, such as:

  • $27 million to support the expansion and modernization of the OCAD University campus along McCaul and Duncan streets in downtown Toronto
  • $23 million to support a cutting-edge clinical learning building at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College
  • $10.6 million to support the revitalization of a central hub at Sault College

To commemorate the college sector’s 50th anniversary in 2017, the government is providing a total of $50 million in capital grants to support projects that improve the student learning environment at all colleges, and support collaboration between six northern colleges.

In October 2016, the government announced plans to create two new postsecondary sites in Brampton and Milton. The purpose of this initiative is to create new university-led postsecondary Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)-focused sites that can accommodate 1,000 net new students within two to five years of opening. These new sites will help to increase access to postsecondary education in Brampton and Milton and develop Ontario’s highly skilled workforce by increasing experiential learning opportunities, helping students acquire the talent and skills for the knowledge economy, and encouraging partnerships in high-demand fields.

Facilities renewal, repair and maintenance

In 2015-16, the annual Facilities Renewal Program grant increased to $40 million from $26 million. The government has committed to increasing this grant to $60 million in 2017-18, $80 million in 2018-19, and $100 million in 2019-20.

In addition to the planned increase, the ministry provided $44.1 million as a one-time top-up to the fund, administered over 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Strategic Investment Fund

Through the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are providing more than $950 million to enhance and modernize innovation, training and research facilities at colleges, universities, and Aboriginal Institutes across Ontario. These investments will help improve teaching facilities and generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Ontario’s colleges and universities at the forefront of scientific advancement.

Innovative learning pathways

eCampusOntario is enhancing Ontario’s national and international profile as a leader in online, and technology-enabled, learning, as it continues to expand access for students to postsecondary education.

The first phase of the eCampusOntario.ca portal launched to provide students across the province with one-window access to more than 13,000 online courses and over 600 programs offered by Ontario colleges and universities.

This year, the province announced that 45 recipients from universities and colleges across Ontario will receive a broad range of research and innovation grants totalling $26 million, through eCampusOntario to explore technology-enabled learning and highlight best practices in student engagement.

Supporting mental health

Attending one of Ontario’s colleges, universities, or private career colleges should be a time of personal opportunity, growth and fulfillment. The safety and well-being of students on university and college campuses is a critical responsibility of all our postsecondary institutions.

Beginning in 2012-13 and ongoing, the ministry has provided $9 million in base funding to support postsecondary students with mental health needs.

Indigenous learners

In response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the ministry has considered education and training opportunities specific to Indigenous peoples, and have taken the following steps to help improve access for them to postsecondary education.

  • In 2016, Ontario provided funding of $97 million over three years to support key initiatives to help more First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners access high-quality postsecondary and training opportunities. Of this investment, $5 million is to ensure that high-quality postsecondary education and training remain accessible to Indigenous learners through the province’s nine Aboriginal Institutes.
  • In 2016, the government engaged with Indigenous and postsecondary education partners to develop a stand-alone policy for Aboriginal postsecondary education and training institutes, and better define their place within the postsecondary education sector.
  • In 2015-16:
    • 1,186 Indigenous learners with financial needs received support through bursaries
    • about 17,500 self-identified Indigenous learners attended full-time studies and 1,950 Indigenous learners attended part-time studies at Ontario colleges and universities according to Strategic Mandate Agreement Report-Backs and
    • approximately 1,000 learners attended Aboriginal postsecondary education and training institutes.

Students with disabilities

Many people with disabilities find it a challenge to complete some form of postsecondary education and participate in the workforce. In some cases, skills sought by employers can be barriers to individuals with disabilities.

Ontario continues to invest in programs to help students with disabilities across the province build the skills they need to succeed at college or university and in the workforce through supportive employment services. In 2016, the Ontario government provided $61.4 million to help serve the increasing number of students with disabilities at Ontario’s publicly assisted institutions.

French language postsecondary education

The government continues to invest to expand access to French-language postsecondary education in Central and Southwestern Ontario by creating additional opportunities for Francophone students to access French-language programs.

  • In 2016-17, the government invested more than $90 million to support French-language postsecondary education in the province with the support of the federal government.
  • In addition, the government committed to providing an annual funding of $5.5 million in order to increase French-language postsecondary offerings in central and southwestern Ontario until 2018-19.

The government continues to move forward on its plan to increase access to French-language postsecondary education for Ontario students. In June 2016, the government established a planning board to provide advice to the government on the design elements, location and costs of a new French-language university in central and southwestern Ontario. Additionally, the ministry hired an independent third party to conduct a study on student interest and market demand for a French-language university. The study will be considered in determining the size and range of programs to be offered in central and southwestern Ontario.

First Generation

Ontario provides $11.4 million every year for First Generation projects. This funding provided to postsecondary institutions focuses on retention and success activities for first-generation students enrolled in postsecondary education Services. It also funds other supports provided to students including such activities as orientation, peer support, mentoring, academic workshops and other unique academic services tailored for first generation students.

Developing global opportunities

In fall 2015, Ontario universities started to use up to 25% of their PhD spaces allocated through the Strategic Mandate Agreement process for international students who will pay domestic tuition fees. This gives universities the flexibility to attract the very best PhD students from both Ontario and around the world, integral to building Ontario’s competitive advantage in research and graduate education.

The government is developing a comprehensive postsecondary international education strategy. This strategy will seek to achieve a balanced approach to attracting international students, new partnerships and promoting international experience opportunities for Ontario students.

Private career colleges

Reforms are improving student protection and oversight in the private career colleges (PCC) sector. In July 2013, the ministry began to collect the data required to calculate and publish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for vocational programs provided at OSAP-approved private career colleges. Key Performance Indicators will help students make informed choices and improve quality and accountability in the sector.

In spring 2016, the ministry published the 2013 KPI results, which included data for three (graduation rate, graduate employment rate, and graduate employment rate in the field of study) of the five KPIs for all private career colleges approved to enrol OSAP-funded students. All five KPIs will be published for all OSAP-approved private career colleges for the 2014 KPIs and for all private career colleges in Ontario in in the 2015 and all future KPIs.

In January 2017, the ministry reformed oversight of the PCC sector by making regulatory amendments to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. The ministry plans to continue its review of its oversight of the PCC sector in the coming year.

Awards

Each year, Ontario presents awards to acknowledge the contributions of outstanding graduates, researchers and leaders from both the college and university sectors.

  • The Premier’s Awards recognize the social and economic contribution that college graduates make to the province and throughout the world. Six recipients of the 2016 Premier’s Awards were given out in the areas of business, community service, creative arts and design, health sciences, technology and also acknowledges a recent graduate.
  • The Ministry also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 to one recipient, a former President of Loyalist College in Belleville.
  • Each year, Polanyi Prizes are awarded to five researchers who are pursuing post-doctoral research at an Ontario university and who are in the early stages of their careers. Recipients of the Polanyi Prize represent Ontario’s next generation of innovators, who will help drive economic development, commercial success and social progress. The awards are given out in the fields of chemistry, economic science, literature, physics and physiology and medicine.
  • The Council of the Federation Literacy Award for Ontario, given by the Premier, recognizes the valuable contributions made to literacy and celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of literacy advocates. The 2016 award recipient was the Kenamatewin Native Learning Centre, a literacy and basic skills provider for adult learners in Kenora.
  • The Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund (OHCRIF) supports research and innovation projects that identify better ways to help people prepare for, return to, or keep employment and become productive participants in the labour force. In 2016-17, there were 27 recipients from colleges and universities across Ontario.

Developing a highly skilled workforce

It is imperative to prepare a highly skilled workforce that can drive the economy of the future, and ensure the continuing strength of the province and the well-being of its communities. To build this highly skilled workforce, the ministry supports a network of community-based agencies that deliver employment and training services to Ontarians. This includes a modern apprenticeship system that serves the needs of emerging and growing industries and ensures businesses are active participants in skills training, and working closely with training institutions.

To further improve Ontario’s world-class education and skills training system, the government established the Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel in December 2015 to develop a strategy to help the province’s current and future workforce adapt to the demands of a technology-driven knowledge economy.

In June 2016, the Expert Panel released its final report Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: A Shared Responsibility. The report made 28 recommendations to government, and the ministry was tasked with leading implementation of the recommendations through the province’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy, in collaboration with partners across and outside of government.

While working to establish a Partnership and Planning Table that would bring together business, labour, education, government, and other leaders to guide the strategy, the ministry laid the foundation for comprehensive initiatives to address priorities in the Panel’s report, such as expanding experiential learning, strengthening opportunities for adult learners, encouraging postsecondary-employer partnerships and improving labour market information.

Transforming and modernizing Ontario’s employment and training systems

Building a skilled, resilient and productive Ontario workforce also requires a modern and cohesive employment and training services network, one which serves the needs of individuals and employers, and effectively responds to rapidly changing labour market realities.

In 2016, Ontario continued to move forward on the commitment to modernize and transform its employment and training services, to make them better coordinated, more targeted and more effective for people.

As a part of this transformation, new features have been added to the employment and training system, including:

  • The new Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, launched in February 2016, will provide leadership for research, innovation and capacity-building across the province.
  • Local Employment Planning Councils, launched in December 2015, in eight communities across Ontario (Durham, London-Middlesex-Oxford-Elgin, Ottawa, Peel-Halton, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Timmins, and Windsor) to support strategic engagement of employers and other community actors in local workforce planning, and to develop and improve the quality, analysis and application of local market information.
  • The ministry is working on a common client assessment framework, using a “distance from the labour market approach,” to ensure individuals in search of training or employment get the supports they need to access the right services.

The future economy will require support for continuous learning that allows workers and educators to access training and learning opportunities throughout their careers so they can adapt to changing technologies.

In the area of employment and training, the ministry provides funding and develops policy for employment services, apprenticeship, labour market programs and information, and foundational skills.

Employment Ontario

Over 300 service delivery sites across the province provide Ontarians with access to all the employment services and supports they need in one location, so they can find and keep a job, apply for training and plan a career that is right for them through Employment Ontario’s Employment Service.

In 2016-17, Ontario invested more than $1 billion in employment, training and labour market programs and services through Employment Ontario, serving more than one million Ontarians.

  • more than 122,000 employers have used the network to find workers with the skills they need
  • Over 24,000 used the Live Chat tool, on the Employment Ontario site to engage in real-time conversation about training programs and services with employees of the Employment Ontario Contact Centre

The Ministry also provides additional programs including the Second Career Program and Literary and Basic Skills Program to help unemployed and laid-off workers train and update their skills.

In 2016-17, key Employment Ontario programs helped:

  • more than 24,900 Ontarians register for training in the skilled trades as an apprentice
  • more than 43,000 learners through the Literacy and Basic Skills Program
  • Ontarians (including employers) access Employment Service 675,000 times
  • more than 7,100 Ontarians through Second Career funding

As part of the government’s work to transform employment and training services, in October 2016 the ministry launched the SkillsAdvance Ontario pilot; a two year sector-focused pilot that supports workforce development by funding partnerships that connect employers with the employment and training services required to recruit and advance workers with the right essential, technical, and employability skills. Three sector-focused workforce development initiatives/projects are underway in the manufacturing, hospitality and construction sectors.

The Canada-Ontario Job Fund Agreement, signed by the Government of Ontario and Canada in March 2014, is a source of funding for employer-driven training initiatives such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG). The COJG program launched on September 26, 2014.

As of March 31, 2017, Ontario’s investment in the Canada-Ontario Job Grant has supported more than 38,300 training opportunities for new or current employees in Ontario.

In 2016, Ontario worked with the federal government and provinces and territories to assess the implementation and results from the first year of the Job Grant program and released a pan-Canadian review through the Forum of Labour Market Ministers.

In 2016-17, Ontario received additional funds from the federal government through the Labour Market Development Agreement ($43 million) and the Job Fund Agreement ($19 million). The ministry continued discussions with the federal government on its key priorities for a new generation of Labour Market Transfer Agreements, including a more flexible approach to client eligibility and a proportionate share of federal funding.

Youth employment

Helping youth find employment is another key component of the government’s plan to invest in people’s talent and skills.

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development introduced a new suite of youth employment programs designed to help youth across a broader range of employment needs, and to ensure resources are used most effectively and targeted to those who need them most:

  • Youth Job Connection launched in October 2015, this program is serving youth, aged 15 to 29, who experience multiple and/or complex barriers to employment by providing more intensive supports beyond traditional job search and placement opportunities. The program offers paid pre-employment training, job opportunities and mentorship to youth who are not working, nor in school, nor in training.
  • Youth Job Connection: Summer launched in 2016, provides summer, part-time and after-school job opportunities for high school students aged 15 to 18 who are facing significant entry barriers and may need support transitioning between school and work.
  • Youth Job Link launched in April 2016, helps youth, including students, with free employment workshops and job matching.

For people with disabilities, the province is developing a provincial employment strategy to ensure access to a continuum of employment and training services, to streamline access for clients with varying needs and employment goals, and to engage employers as active partners in breaking down barriers and promoting inclusive workplaces.

Labour market information

The ministry has taken a leading role to ensure that timely and relevant labour market information is available to support government, institutions, students, families and employers as they make important decisions about education, training and hiring.

As part of this work, the ministry has improved online tools, including Ontario’s Employment Profile, to provide more recent information on student experiences and employment outcomes for graduates of Ontario college programs; and is in the process of re-designing Ontario Job Futures as a user-friendly career exploration tool.

In February 2017, the ministry released its Employment Ontario Geo Hub, providing interactive data that includes outcomes for a variety of programs including Employment Service, Second Career, and Literacy and Basic Skills.

To identify the most high-demand occupations and better support our investments and planning, the ministry is exploring new and enhanced sources of labour market information. For example, the Ministry has acquired new sources of “real-time” information on job postings at the community level, and is assessing the feasibility of using regional labour market projections from an external provider to create information resources for the public.

Further, Ontario worked with the federal government and provinces and territories to establish the Labour Market Information Council, which will improve local labour market information available to students and job seekers, employers, training partners, governments and others.

Apprenticeship and skilled trades training

Apprenticeship training is a key part of building the well-educated and highly skilled workforce that the province needs to compete in the current and future economy.

The Ontario government allocated approximately $173 million for investments in Ontario’s apprenticeship system for 2015-16 through programs that offer support to both apprentices and employers, support for capital upgrades and equipment, and loans to apprentices for tools and equipment.

In April 2015, Ontario announced an additional investment of $55 million to enhance three apprenticeship programs, through Ontario’s renewed Youth Jobs Strategy. This will further help the next generation of skilled tradespeople access the training, equipment and facilities they need to get good jobs.

In 2016-17, this investment included:

  • More than $14 million (including $2.7 million of the new funding) directed to the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program which supports 67 programs for 1,249 pre-apprentices. This is to help people considering careers in the trades develop their job skills and readiness to find work as apprentices through in-class training sessions and work placements.
  • $26.5 million (including $12.5 million of the new funding for signature projects) for 47 capital projects to acquire new equipment, space and technologies as part of the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund Program.
  • $19 million over three years to support equipment upgrades and more lab time during in-school apprenticeship sessions.

As a result of the government’s investments and support of the apprenticeship system, new annual apprenticeship registrations have grown from 17,100 in 2002-03 to more than 24,900 in 2016-17.

Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2016-17 ($M)footnote 3

Operating
7,230.8
Capital
576.5
Staff Strengthfootnote 4
1,172.9