Skills pay the bills—it’s a cheesy saying, but very true. So, what happens when people with skills just can’t find the work? Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. To address the issue, the Ontario government created the Skills Development Fund.
The program initially received $115 million to address challenges related to hiring, training and retraining workers due to the pandemic. Through the fund, $5.8 million will now be allocated towards free online training courses.
“As our province safely and steadily reopens we’re seeing strong demand for qualified workers across many industries,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “There are more than 250,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled today. Many hardworking people are eager to start these new, well-paying and purpose-driven careers. Through this partnership with LinkedIn, we’ve identified the top skills employers are looking for and we’re offering free online training to help workers and their families get back on their feet.”
Over 17,000 courses, including videos, will be available to workers. Employment Ontario career experts will coach each worker on which course matches their needs and personal career goals.
Local labour data will be available to employment service organizations to ensure workers are buildings skills related to local job postings. Employment service providers will be able to use the platform’s employer outreach tools to build relationships with local employers to connect workers with job placements quicker.
“We are excited to facilitate economic growth in Ontario through our learning, labour market insights, and recruiting products,” said Mark Lobosco, vice president of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, “Together, we can create more equal access to opportunity through learning and skills and help prepare Ontarians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The free online training will be available until March 31, 2022 through LinkedIn. Just over 2,000 of the in-demand courses will be offered in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.
To apply for the program, workers can contact their local employment service provider, or go to LinkedIn to register.