Ontario Helping 100,000 Workers Train for In-Demand Jobs

Ontario Helping 100,000 Workers Train for In-Demand Jobs

Partnership will offer free online courses to those impacted by the pandemic

July 20, 2021

Labour, Training and Skills Development

onTORONTO— The Ontario government is investing $5.8 million in free online training to help 100,000 workers gain the skills they need to find good jobs and restart their careers. Courses will focus on building skills most in-demand by employers in fields such as information technology, finance and business administration.

This funding is part of the government’s $115 million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our province safely and steadily reopens we’re seeing strong demand for qualified workers across many industries,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “There are more than 250,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled today. Many hardworking people are eager to start these new, well-paying and purpose-driven careers. Through this partnership with LinkedIn, we’ve identified the top skills employers are looking for and we’re offering free online training to help workers and their families get back on their feet.”

Workers will have access to over 17,000 courses, including videos taught by global industry experts. Employment Ontario career experts will coach each worker on which courses match their needs and personal career goals.

“We are excited to facilitate economic growth in Ontario through our learning, labor market insights, and recruiting products,” said Mark Lobosco, Vice President of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, “Together, we can create more equal access to opportunity through learning and skills and help prepare Ontarians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

This partnership aligns with Ontario’s efforts to quickly re-skill laid off workers, reach traditionally under-represented groups and support the talent needs of small businesses.

It will also provide employment services organizations with access to local labour market data to ensure workers are building skills reflected in local job postings. Employment service providers will also be able to use the platform’s employer outreach tools to build relationships with local employers to connect workers with job placements more quickly.

“As we move forward with reopening, our government is committed to helping workers find good, meaningful and well-paying jobs,” said Robin Martin, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence. “This important investment will ensure everyone looking for work can quickly access the training they need to start in-demand jobs and get back on their feet.”

The funding comes as part of the government’s $115 million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the province’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

Quick Facts

  • The free online training is available until March 31, 2022 through LinkedIn.
  • 2,100 in-demand courses are also offered in French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese.
  • To apply, workers can contact their local employment service provider, or go to linkedin.firstwork.org to sign up.
  • Ontario’s unemployment rate was 8.4% in June 2021.
  • In April 2021, Ontario employers were actively recruiting for an estimated 250,000 positions.
  • LinkedIn, which posts millions of jobs annually, is the most popular job board in Canada with over 17 million users and over 450,000 companies represented.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
  • Please email programs@firstwork.org with further questions.


“Together with the Youth Job Connection program, the Digital Jobs Strategy partnership will help youth just like me. They will learn important skills that they won’t learn anywhere else, including looking for work in the digital age.”

– Adeola Thompson
COSTI Employment Services Client

“We are proud to be a member of a network of organizations that include the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, First Work and many community service providers that work diligently at making employment a reality for many people.”

– Mario J. Calla
Executive Director, COSTI

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