The province is seeking providers to offer training to low-income women so they can gain skills, knowledge and experience to improve their job prospects in the areas of skilled trades, entrepreneurship, information technology, and general employment.
Funding is available through the Women’s Economic Security Program, a $5-million fund originally established in 2018. Ontario said it’s investing an additional $496,000 in 2023.
Training is available in one of the four streams, and additional support is being provided to participants to remove barriers to participation. That includes meals throughout the training day, transportation to and from training, and support in finding child care.
Additionally, participants — including women who have experienced or are at risk of intimate partner violence — can access wraparound supports, including referrals to mental health and well-being supports, counselling, housing, and legal support.
“The Women’s Economic Security Program is empowering women with the skills they need to join the workforce and help build Ontario together,” said Charmaine Williams, associate minister of women’s social and economic opportunity, in a news release.
“We know that supporting more women in the workforce benefits Ontario’s economy, especially in in-demand sectors such as the skilled trades. These careers are exciting, provide good pay and benefits, and will empower women and girls across the province to succeed.”
Providers looking to deliver the program have until Jan. 26, 2024. Information about the program and the application process is available at Ontario.ca/getfunding.
Women interest in applying to the program can visit Ontario.ca/women for more information.
The province said that, since its inception, the program has helped more than 2,100 women secure employment, become entrepreneurs, or pursue further training and/or education. This includes helping 1,298 women start small businesses and 237 get jobs in the skilled trades.