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Ontario Providing Additional Investment into Skills Development Fund

Beginning tomorrow, province will begin accepting proposals for the second funding round

September 28, 2021

Labour, Training and Skills Development

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing an additional $83 million towards the Skills Development Fund to help support ground-breaking training projects that upskill workers and prepare job seekers for meaningful work in their communities. Beginning tomorrow, the fund will begin accepting proposals for the second round of funding and is expanding its eligibility to allow an even wider range of organizations to apply, helping give more people the training needed to fill the shortage of skilled workers in Ontario.

Details were shared today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development at the LiUNA Local 506 Training Centre in Richmond Hill.

“With almost 150 projects so far, the first round of the Skills Development Fund was a tremendous success, helping 260,000 workers and job seekers around the province take the next step in their careers,” said Minister McNaughton. “However, we know employers are still having difficulty finding the talented workers they need to stay competitive and grow their businesses. That’s why we’ve opened a second round of funding that will be accessible for an even wider range of programs and organizations.”

The investment includes $334,487 for LIUNA to give 8,000 members of Local 506 as well as construction craft worker apprentices free access to a wide range of online skills and safety courses workers need for their jobs through LinkedIn Learning.

“The Skills Development Fund continues to empower career-building opportunities in the skilled trades by expanding and modernizing apprenticeship training,” said Carmen Principato, LiUNA Local 506 Business Manager. “This funding announced by Minister McNaughton will provide cutting-edge training, working together with labour and industry to meet the growing demand of Ontario’s workforce.”

The province will be accepting applications from a broader range of organizations including Indigenous skills and employment training centres, Indigenous Band offices, social service administration boards, municipal employment providers, hospitals, and other organizations. This funding can also be used to cover a wider range of financial supports for trainees, including expenses for transit and child care.

“LiUNA’s industry leading training is a gateway to building prosperous careers throughout the construction industry,” said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada. “With the continued support of Minister McNaughton and the Skills Development Fund, we continue to upgrade innovative training and marketing programs to expand outreach and recruitment, modernize the skilled trades and ensure that Ontario’s workforce is safe and job ready as they remain at the forefront of community building.”

Organizations applying for the second round of the Skills Development Fund can also receive funding to accommodate trainees and workers with disabilities. This includes travel costs for people who require mobility support, including site-to-site job travel for both participants and support persons. Employers can receive up to $5,000 per job placement if they support a trainee with a disability. Project proposals will be given special consideration if they can clearly show how they will support postsecondary and high school graduates with disabilities or those experiencing mental health challenges.

Today’s announcement brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund to over $200 million. The Fund was designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help keep our economy open and make our workforce more resilient.

Quick Facts

  • Funding applications will be accepted starting at 9:00am on September 29, 2021, for as long as funds are available or until the fiscal year ends on March 31, 2022. Interested organizations can apply through Transfer Payment Ontario.
  • Organizations eligible for funding include employment service and training providers, labour, community, business and industry organizations, municipalities, hospitals, Indigenous Band offices, Indigenous skills and employment training agreement holders, service system managers.
  • Apprentices and workers who want to participate in LiUNA Local 506’s projects can contact Merissa Preston, Partnership and Business Development at LiUNA Local 506, at
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


“This $1.4M investment to help recover and re-grow our local labour market is truly exciting news. This allows the purchase of 4 modern virtual simulators for the Training Centre in Richmond Hill. We can have up to 190 apprentices and laid-off Local 506 members receive modern training and learn to operate heavy equipment. This also supports a project in partnership with LinkedIn that helps LiUNA Local 506 greatly increase its capacity for online training and boosts the recruitment of new union members. The encouragement it brings to our labour market is impactful.”

– Daisy Wai
MPP for Richmond Hill

“Looking at the meaningful impacts of the first phase of funding through Ontario’s Skills Development, our government is thrilled to provide new round of supports to help businesses and workers across our province grow, said PA Deepak Anand. This additional investment will support businesses and organizations like LiUNA Local 506 to help pave rewarding career paths for our workforce and stay ahead of the curve.”

– Deepak Anand
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and MPP for Mississauga—Malton

“We learned a lot from how successful our first round of the Skills Development Fund was, and we quickly realized that we had to continue to support the hard-working men and women in Ontario’s trades and industries in order to get the best results possible. That is why our government is investing an additional $83 million to open a second round of applications for the Skills Development Fund for even more organizations. This is very exciting news for both job-seekers and employers in our community.”

– Michael Parsa
MPP for Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill

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