Ontario Expands Employment Services to Help More People Find Good Jobs

Improved services in additional regions will help more people lead purpose-driven lives

March 09, 2023

Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

WINDSOR — Ontario is expanding the province’s new employment services to five more regions to help more people who can and are able to work find better jobs and earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families. The improved system will help thousands of unemployed people in London, Windsor-Sarnia, Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie, Durham, and Ottawa find rewarding jobs close to home.

“We are taking significant steps to address Ontario’s historic labour shortage and help more people start their journey towards a career they can be proud of,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “By expanding and improving our employment services with a renewed focus on helping people lead purpose-driven lives, we are lifting people up, including those on social assistance, so that they can be leaders in their community and help build a stronger Ontario for all of us.”

These new employment services are already in place in Peel, Hamilton–Niagara, Muskoka–Kawartha, Halton, York, Stratford–⁠Bruce Peninsula and Kingston–⁠Pembroke. By the end of 2023, expansion will be underway in Toronto and Northern Ontario.

“Through this initiative, our government is empowering social assistance recipients who can and are able to work, by giving them the tools they need to gain in-demand skills and find employment,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We will continue to build programs that respond to the labour shortage while supporting clients on their path towards long-term financial stability.”

Early results from the regions that launched first with these new employment services shows they are helping those who need it the most:

  • Of the 63,233 people on the path to a job, over 23,000 are social assistance recipients
  • More than 2 in 5 are people with disabilities
  • Nearly 1 in 5 are disadvantaged young people, often with prior involvement in the criminal justice system

“The Ontario government’s transformation efforts will lead to better outcomes for workers and those seeking new employment opportunities in our region and the City of Windsor is pleased to be part of delivering on this vision,” said Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor. “Along with our consortium partner Workforce WindsorEssex, the City of Windsor is thrilled to be chosen as the Service System Manager for the Windsor-Sarnia catchment area, including Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent. We are confident that we will be able to deliver an amazing experience as we consolidate and expand the delivery of employment services all while enhancing outcomes for residents in our service area.”

These changes build on the government’s ongoing mission to build a stronger Ontario for the next generation.

Quick Facts

  • The system managers for the new regions are:
    • City of London in London
    • City of Windsor with Workforce Development Board Windsor Essex in Windsor–Sarnia
    • Serco with Deloitte Inc. and Thrive Career Wellness Inc. in Kitchener–Waterloo-–Barrie
    • The Regional Municipality of Durham with Durham Workforce Authority and Durham College in Durham
    • International APM Group/WCG in Ottawa
  • As of the third quarter of 2022, 364,045 jobs were going unfilled in Ontario. In the Windsor-Sarnia area, there were 13,060 vacant jobs.
  • Employment Ontario is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


“Having a locally responsive Service System Manager shepherd and oversee the transformation process has been a game changer. Being able to address issues from a local level with a variety of tools allows for flexibility and adaptability for Service Providers and ultimately for the individuals that we serve.”

– Tracy Cunning
Vice President, Employment Services, Goodwill Amity

“We are proud to be selected as the Service System Manager for Employment Services for the Region of Durham. This decision is a reflection of our strong community partnerships; a team from the Region, Durham Workforce Authority and Durham College will bring together all service providers in the sector. Through collaboration and partnerships, we are helping people to reach their full potential. Together, we will develop effective and efficient pathways to sustainable employment for all clients.”

– John Henry
Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Region of Durham

“With more than 25 years’ experience in providing employment services for Londoners, the City of London is well positioned to be successful as the Service System Manager for the London Economic Region. We are excited to expand upon the established and strong relationships with community organizations to continue to support equity-deserving groups and leverage local expertise and initiatives to build a strong and inclusive workforce.”

– Kevin Dickins
Deputy City Manager, Social and Health Development, City of London

“To be selected by the Province of Ontario to expand our support for the employment services transformation initiative is a great privilege. Over the last four months, we have engaged with stakeholders in the Kingston-Pembroke catchment, and we look forward to expanding our efforts to support those searching for sustainable long-term employment in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie area. Our team is confident that our approach will enable us to successfully work with our partners, local service providers, municipalities, and the corresponding communities.”

– Natasha McLean
Managing Director, Serco Canada

“Working with WCG to deliver the transformed Employment Ontario Employment Service system truly feels like a partnership. Clients receive the benefit of a well-defined service delivery model that both expedites and clearly outlines the path to a successful return to employment.”

– John Mitteregger
Senior Director, HR and Program Development, Job Skills

“WCG is delighted to be the Service System Manager for the Ottawa catchment as part of Ontario’s transformation of the employment services system. Our approach includes engaging in community-based partnerships to co-design and support delivery of high quality services that enable job seekers, including those with unique needs, to achieve sustainable employment.”

– Tania Bennett
CEO, WCG Services

“We believe in and support the Ministry’s vision and feel grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Prototype phase of the EST. With the support of our SSM partners, we can continue to strengthen and broaden our reach to jobseekers and employers towards building a highly skilled workforce that focuses on long-term, sustainable employment.”

– Jan Dowding
President, VPI

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Business and Economy

Information about Ontario’s economy and how to do business here. Includes economic development opportunities, research funding, tax credits for business and the Ontario Budget. Learn more

Education and Training

Learn about Ontario’s early years, education and training systems. Includes information on child care, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, skills training and financial aid. Learn more


Learn about the government services available to you and how government works. Learn more

Jobs and Employment

We’ve got the resource and supports to help connect job seekers with employers. Learn more


Media Contacts

Sydney Dubin
Minister’s Office

Anuradha Dhar
Communications Branch