Ontario budget makes important investments into training

(TORONTO, March 25, 2008) - The 2008 Ontario Budget investments into training will help the province produce greater numbers of skilled employees, Ontario’s Workforce Shortage Coalition said today.

 ”The budget measures announced today will help greater numbers of people to get the education and training they need to fulfil their potential,” said Barbara Taylor, the president of Canadore College and chair of the Ontario colleges’ committee of presidents. “The new training and retraining opportunities will help more people find meaningful careers.”

“The budget recognizes the skills shortage is a reality not just for environment firms but for those across the entire economy,” said Alex Gill, executive director of the Ontario Environment Industry Association. “We are pleased that the McGuinty government has identified skills training identified as a priority in the budget.”

The 2008 Ontario Budget released today includes investments into an action plan to get more people into well-paying jobs, expanded apprenticeship training and new investments into capital improvements in postsecondary institutions and student aid.

Ontario’s Workforce Shortage Coalition is a coalition of business, education and labour leaders that represents more than 100,000 employers and millions of employees. The coalition has been raising awareness about the skills shortage challenges facing Ontario today and in the years ahead.

Currently, many sectors face challenges finding qualified employees, and that challenge will intensify in coming years. A Conference Board of Canada report prepared for the coalition estimates Ontario will be short more than 360,000 skilled employees by 2025. That could further escalate to a shortage of more than 560,000 skilled employees by 2030.

“The budget announcements today will help strengthen Ontario’s economy over the long term,” said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO of Retail Council of Canada. “This budget will play an important part in the province’s future prosperity.”

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