Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian government investing additional $1.5B in the Workforce Development Agreements

by CM Staff   

Manufacturing Infrastructure Public Sector In Focus Ontario Government skills training

New investment will provide training for an increased number of Ontarians looking to re-enter the workforce.

Ontario has an unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent, above the national average of 6.9 per cent. PHOTO: Benson Kua, via Wikimedia Commons

GATINEAU — Workers are facing new challenges as the Canadian economy begins to rebound from the impact of COVID-19. Ontario residents need access to training and support to develop new skills to find good jobs in a post-pandemic economy.

On Dec. 10, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, and Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, highlighted that the Government of Canada is investing an additional $1.5 billion in the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) with provinces and territories. The Government of Ontario has received $614 million to help respond to the increased number of Ontarians looking to re-enter the workforce, particularly those in hard-hit sectors and groups disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. Supports include skills training, on-the-job training, employer-sponsored training, financial assistance and benefits, employment counselling and services, and job opportunities. This funding is in addition to the $3.4 billion already being provided to provinces and territories under the Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and WDAs in 2020–21.

The Government of Ontario outlined its economic recovery plan in the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, which includes $4.8 billion in new supports for recovery efforts that will be built on over time. As part of the action plan, Ontario is modernizing Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system and through an additional $100 million of dedicated investments in Employment Ontario and a redesigned Second Career program. By building on the province’s Employment Ontario delivery network, these additional federal investments will ensure quick access to training for those who need it the most and will help job seekers who are affected by the pandemic retrain and upgrade their skills.

Based on the latest job numbers from the Labour Force Survey, Canada’s labour market gained another 62,000 jobs in November 2020. The national unemployment rate was 8.5% in November, down slightly from 8.9% in October and 13.7% in May.


Ontario’s employment rate increased for the fifth consecutive month since the COVID-19 economic downturn, rising by 30,600 (0.4%) in October. With this latest increase, the provincial employment rate in October was 3.8% (287,900) lower than in February (before COVID-19), reflecting a net job gain of 868,600 over five months.


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