Ontario boosting on-the-job learning opportunities for students
Ontario is creating 40,000 new work-related learning opportunities over three years for K-12 and postsecondary students, as well as recent graduates.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, announced the province’s new Career Kick-Start Strategy while touring the Toronto office of technology company Salesforce.
“Ontario’s historic investments in education mean more students are graduating than ever before. In order to ensure their continued success, and increase youth employment, our government is committed to funding important, successful initiatives that prepare students for success in the world of work. Building partnerships between colleges, universities and businesses is vital to helping more people gain valuable experience to support lifelong success,” said minister Sousa.
Government officials say 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.
Career Kick-Start will create more opportunities for high school and postsecondary students, along with recent graduates, to build their resumes and develop job relevant skills. The initiative includes:
Expanding the successful Specialist High Skills Major Program over the next three years to introduce 17,000 more Grade 11 and 12 students to career options while obtaining their high school diploma;
A new Career Ready Fund to help universities, colleges and employers create career-oriented learning experiences and related supports for students and recent graduates;
Supporting more than 3,000 high-impact, industry-led research internships through the Mitacs Accelerate program and 140 additional internships and fellowships per year in the TalentEdge program;
Giving all college and university students free access to high-quality, skills-focused online learning through Lynda.com.
In addition to expanding the number of work-focused learning placements, the Ontario government is also investing in guidance and career counselling to expose students to a wider range of options for their future.
Ontario will invest nearly $190 million over three years to support the Career Kick-Start Strategy.
In 2016, 68 per cent of adults in Ontario had a postsecondary degree, up from 56 per cent in 2002 — higher than rates for any country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.