Ontario Ensuring All Students Reach Their Full Potential

Published on July 29, 2019

Ontario champions student job-readiness and addressing apprenticeship and skilled trades shortages at CMEC Meeting


TORONTO — Ontario is continuing to support students across the province to prepare for successful careers. The province remained focused on postsecondary students' outcomes, job-readiness and strategies to address apprenticeships and the skilled trades shortage at the 108th Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, convened annually to discuss issues concerning elementary, secondary and postsecondary education.

At the CMEC meeting David Piccini, Parliamentary Assistant for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, presented Ontario's plan to tie provincial funding to performance metrics, starting in 2020-21.

"Underpinning our work in Ontario is a resolute belief that we can and must do a better job to ensure that postsecondary education is getting positive outcomes for Ontario's students and our economy," said Parliamentary Assistant David Piccini. "Ontario's higher education priorities include ensuring students have the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the labour market."

The made-in-Ontario performance-based funding model will come into effect through the next round of Strategic Mandate Agreements, bilateral agreements between the ministry and each of Ontario's 45 publicly-assisted colleges and universities.

Ontario also advanced greater promotion of the skilled trades and strategies to reduce barriers for students pursuing an apprenticeship. Ontario succeeded in gaining unanimous consensus to add to the CMEC agenda the topic of addressing the skilled trades and apprenticeship shortages being experienced in provinces and territories.

"Encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM and the skilled trades will help address the current labour shortage Ontario is facing," said Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "There are so many opportunities for Ontario students to prosper in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the skilled trades."

Quick Facts

  • Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange signed an agreement while at CMEC to enhance learning opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering and math as well as the skilled trades.
  • Funding in 2019-20 for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program will be $12.7 million.
  • Announced in the 2019 Budget, Strategic Mandate Agreements (2020-25) will implement a new ‘made-in-Ontario’ performance-based funding model for the province’s 45 publicly-assisted colleges and universities. This model will link a larger portion of provincial postsecondary operating funding to outcomes like graduate employment and community/local impacts.
  • Ontario recently passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 as part of the Protecting What Matters Most, 2019 Budget Act to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
  • Job seekers can visit ontario.ca/openforbusiness to get training, build their skills and access career information.

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