‘This program is a great example of how we are encouraging more employer participation in apprenticeship, helping businesses find the talent they need’
Ontario is investing $20 million to help small businesses jointly sponsor and train apprentices through the new Group Sponsorship Grant program, reducing pressure on any one employer to see an apprentice through to completion of training.
The program will also help provide apprentices with the support needed to become a registered journeyperson, according to the government.
“We're leaving no stone unturned in our mission to help those who are interested find good jobs in the skilled trades. Our government's Group Sponsorship Grant will bring more employers and apprentices together and will contribute to our province's economic recovery,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “This program is a great example of how we are encouraging more employer participation in apprenticeship, helping businesses find the talent they need while engaging and preparing people for meaningful careers in the skilled trades.”
Previously, Ontario announced it is investing $75 million over the next two years to help apprentices in skilled trades cover living expenses during their in-class training.
A sponsor, as defined in the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, is a person who has been approved by the ministry to enter into a registered training agreement and ensures that the apprentice is provided with the training required.
Group sponsors consist of two or more people who act as a single sponsor to collectively provide training to apprentices. Group sponsors share apprenticeship management and training responsibilities, including:
- interviewing and selecting prospective apprentices and establishing a training network
- coordinating and monitoring the apprentice's on-the-job workplace training
- submitting documentation for apprenticeship application, registration of training agreements and completion of the apprenticeship training programs
- supporting apprentices through the complete apprenticeship cycle, including registration, workplace and classroom-based training, completion and trade certification
- overseeing affiliated employers and organizations who provide apprenticeship training and ensure they are delivering apprenticeship training in accordance with the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, its regulations and training standards.
Businesses interested in the Group Sponsorship Grant program may be eligible to receive grants of up to $1 million for the 2020-2021 year and may receive funding for up to three years, according to the government. Application is open to existing and new group sponsors.
“We’re making it easier for employers to hire and train apprentices together. The new Group Sponsorship Grant Program will help groups of employers sponsor apprentices, addressing the #SkillsGap, and helping prepare more people for good jobs,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, member of the standing committee on estimates and parliamentary assistant to the president of the treasury board (internal audit), in a Facebook post.
“This program is a great example of how we are encouraging more employer participation in apprenticeship,” said Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women's issues. “We want more women to discover meaningful careers in the skilled trades and the initiative we are announcing today will help businesses do just that while finding the talent they need.”
In November, the Ontario government announced its $45 billion, three-year Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19.