The Great Resignation: Canada faces labour drought

It's the 'greatest labour shortage in a generation' – and it’s hurting morale

The Great Resignation: Canada faces labour drought

The Ontario government has announced that they’ll be expanding their Second Career Programme to include more members of the workforce who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The Second Career is a project from the government that funds tuition for training programmes of 52 weeks duration and less, including eligible college and selected university courses, micro-credential programmes, and other vocational training programmes.

Late last year, the government said they’ll help jobseekers train for a career in the various sectors, namely advanced manufacturing, life sciences, information and communication technology, and supportive health services. Starting Spring 2022, Ontario said it is expanding the project to also include the self-employed, gig workers, youth, newcomers, and others who need social assistance.

Premier Doug Ford said this is the government's way of investing in its workers to "build an Ontario that leaves nobody behind."

"As companies and jobs flock to Ontario, we want to ensure that our workers are trained to have the skills needed for these jobs of the future," Ford said.

Through the programme, beneficiaries can get up to $28,000 to pay for their education and living expenses as they pursue training to shift to a new career. Those who require disability-related supports, childcare, or accommodation may also receive additional help.

Read more: Ontario earmarks $500k to help marginalised women re-enter workforce

Meanwhile, the government is also extending until 2022 the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, giving an additional $275 million of additional support to about 240,000 people. According to authorities, this is equivalent to about $1,150 on average, which can be used by Ontario workers to upgrade their skills.

"If you’re prepared to put in the work, time and effort to learn skills to support your family, the government is prepared to put in the money and give you every opportunity to see it through," said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy.

The expansion of the two projects come as Ontario continues to face what Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said is the "greatest labour shortage in a generation."

"This is why our government is investing in programmes that will connect more people across our province to meaningful careers and financial independence that empowers them to build better lives for themselves and their loved ones," he said.

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