Timmins Chamber of Commerce to Government: Get Employer-Driven Training Programs Right

Date ArticleType
9/10/2014 Press Release

Timmins, ON - September 9, 2014: The Government of Ontario must ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers, according to a new report released by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario.

The call comes as the government works to reinvent the way that many training and employment programs are delivered in the province by giving employers a more direct role in the type of training their workers receive. The bulk of these programs will be supported through the new Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of training a current or prospective worker, with government chipping in up to $10,000.

“By encouraging businesses to invest more in their employees, these new employer-driven programs could be an important step toward improving Ontario’s economic competitiveness,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they’ll only succeed if they are designed with the needs of employers in mind.”

The report, Moving Forward Together, was assembled with input from members of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce and makes the case that programs should be easy to access for employers.

“We recognize that measures are required to maintain the integrity of these programs and minimize fraud,” adds O’Dette. “But government needs to be conscious that onerous red tape and paperwork will only deter employers from participating in the program.”

It also calls on government to foster collaboration among companies in the design of training programs to minimize the risk of poaching and to lower the costs associated with training. This will require government to develop a close relationship with sector associations that are already providing workforce training.

In addition, the report drives home the importance of increasing engagement between government and the business community as most employers are unaware of current training and employment provisions available to them.

“Staffing and training concerns have long stood as our members’ biggest obstacles for growth, so we’ve been very pleased to help them work with our partners across the province to develop potential solutions,” said Phil Barton, 2013-2014 President of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. “In the end, we strongly encourage the province to view the introduction of the Ontario-Canada Job Grant as an opportunity to partner with businesses to build their employees’ skills.”

Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training Programs in Ontario is based on extensive consultations with employers and training providers from across the province. Read the full report at http://tinyurl.com/MovingForwardReport

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About the Timmins Chamber of Commerce
With over 750 members, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest accredited chambers of commerce with distinction in northeastern Ontario. As the “Voice of Business in Timmins” since 1949, our advocacy and policy initiatives focus on ensuring a positive business climate in the City of Timmins.

Media contact:
Nick Stewart
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
(705) 360-1900