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Province adds $160M to train skilled workers

Priority will be given to people with lower incomes, criminal records

The province is committing another $160 million to train more skilled workers, this time focusing on people with lower incomes and those with criminal records.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton made the announcement on August 25.

“For too long, too many in our community have been forgotten and treated as second class in their own province. In the middle of a historic labour shortage, we need all hands on deck,” McNaughton said in an Aug. 25 news release.

“That is why our government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure we give anyone who wants a job and a paycheque they can be proud of a shot at the Ontario dream. Whether you’ve been on social assistance for 10 months or 10 years, we’ll help you.

Funding comes from the Skills Development Fund, and will go toward training up to at least 100,000 people in the areas of health care, auto manufacturing, information technology, hospitality and the skilled trades.

According to the province, roughly 300,000 jobs in Ontario go unfilled every day, which impacts the economy.

More than 800,000 people in Ontario relying on social assistance are “willing, able and ready to work” and others who have criminal records have not reoffended, yet are on social assistance even after 15 following their release from prison.