Effective Apr. 1, 2020, laid-off manufacturing workers will no longer be required to search for a job for 26 weeks to qualify for Second Career
Ontario is making it easier for laid off workers in the manufacturing industry to find second careers.
Effective Apr. 1, 2020, laid-off manufacturing workers in Ontario will no longer be required to search for a job for 26 weeks to qualify for Second Career, a program which aids people who have lost their jobs. They can also now apply regardless of how long they had been working in the manufacturing or auto industry.
The changes will apply to manufacturing and auto workers who were permanently laid off on or after Jan. 1, 2019. All other laid-off workers will be able to apply for Second Career under the previously established eligibility rules.
"We're ensuring our manufacturing workers are given every opportunity to be successful in their career," said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade. "Our government remains committed to providing supports that position the sector for the future of advanced manufacturing."
Ontario launched the Second Career program in 2008 as a response to major layoffs in the wake of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. It helps laid-off workers pay for postsecondary education or training that they need to successfully rejoin the workforce.
Second Career has helped approximately 110,900 people retrain for a new occupation from when it was launched to Mar. 31, 2019. In the third quarter of 2019, there were about 18,700 vacant jobs in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie Economic Region, with demand for mechanics, cooks, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and millwrights. On average there were over 10,000 manufacturing workers per month in receipt of Employment Insurance across Ontario from January to November 2019, said the government.
Popular occupations that Second Career clients train for include transport truck driver, heavy equipment operator (except crane) and social and community service worker.
"Employers are looking for workers, and workers are looking for jobs. With more responsive training programs, we can help both," said McNaughton. "Over this spring and summer we will work closely with business and training stakeholders to review all our employment and training programs to learn how to improve them."
Applying for the Second Career program is free, and Employment Ontario service providers help with the application process free of charge.