How Your Organization Could Benefit From Ontario’s New Skills Development Fund for Training

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While the CERB and other federal emergency measures have helped many Canadians during the pandemic, lasting economic recovery will require a strategic plan and collaboration between local private- and public-sector organizations, businesses and educational institutions.

As a result, the Ontario Government has recently launched a fund dedicated to supporting work forces directly impacted by COVID-19. The strategy behind the Ontario Government’s new $115 million Skills Development Fund (SDF) acknowledges that the hardship wrought by the pandemic has affected some groups more than others. Those who were already at a disadvantage will have the hardest time getting back on their feet. The SDF is designed to address the barriers that prevent these displaced groups from participating in the post-pandemic labour market.

Which organizations are eligible to apply for SDF training funding on behalf of their employees?

Applications will be accepted from any employer, as long as they have a presence in Ontario; are an apprenticeship training delivery agent; a non-profit, sector-specific industrial, professional or employer association, trade union and affiliated organization; or a municipality. The application process allows for a co-applicant that is a publicly-funded college, university or Indigenous Institute in Ontario that would assist in the development and delivery of the training initiative.

How do you partner with a co-applicant?

Typically, the first step to partnering is to connect with an institution to discuss the types of programs that are most suitable. The Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) is deeply connected to Ontario’s business and economic landscape and has had the privilege of partnering with many organizations on fully- or partially-funded training. A simple email to SEEC’s Senior Customer Service Specialist (Sameera Khan –  skhan@schulich.yorku.ca) can get the conversation started and immediately sort out any questions or concerns.

Who are suitable co-applicants?

Publicly -unded colleges, universities or Indigenous Institutes in Ontario are ideal co-applicants, specifically, those that offer a large portfolio of programs to support the diverse workforce. SEEC has the largest selection of off-the-shelf skill development programs in Canada and has decades of experience offering custom programs for organizational cohorts. SEEC welcomes the opportunity to partner with organizations as a co-applicant to design and deliver SDF-eligible workforce development training programs that serve the needs of Ontario’s local communities and economy at large.

Why such a sense of urgency?

Many of these funding opportunities require submissions immediately and by a deadline. The deadline for submission of the first round of applications is February 28, 2021. Download the SDF Guidelines here, and contact Senior Customer Service Specialist Sameera Khan at skhan@schulich.yorku.ca to discuss how SEEC can help meet the training needs of your organization’s constituency.

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