Invest in Your Workforce

rising sun over train stationEntrepreneurs and those in a leadership positions need to stop passing the buck when it comes to training employees.  The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is a cost-shared investment between employers and Government, in skills training for existing employees or new hires.

Recent surveys and statistics suggest that Canada rates low in training and development hours of instruction provided to staff since 1993. Alternatively, employers are fortunate to have access to one of the most highly educated countries in the world; but this comes at a cost. Age ranges of new hires are creeping up as young people continue to invest in their own educational efforts. Subsequently, when entering the labour market this group has higher employment expectations and if the workplace culture isn’t ripe for them, will leave. In fact, Workopolis says that Canadian workers are spending 30% less time staying at their jobs due to lack of stimulation, the need for more money, or unsuitable workplace/cultural fit/poor relationships. Some of this turnover points to poor job training and candidates feeling they lack skills necessary to perform the job.

Staff training and upgrading is essential to employer success regardless of the size, and the benefits far outweigh the costs. Employers benefit from longer term staff retention; increased confidence; over-all job satisfaction; a re-investment in the organization in the form of innovation, productivity, and leadership, which all leverage market competitiveness. It is an overall win-win situation.

group of college students under tree all looking at laptopThe Canada-Ontario Jobs Grant puts the onus on the employer to explore their training needs and investigate the best training to address their current labour force skills gaps. Training can’t exceed one year in duration and must be provided by qualified 3rd party trainers. The Government covers 2/3 of the direct training costs, up to $10,000/trainee and the employer covers the remaining 1/3 direct costs. Of course, employers must meet the program eligibility which is fairly standard: a licensed business operating in Ontario.

Applications are approved based upon the impact the training has upon the existing business model. Questions and general inquiry applications are submitted on-line at http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/eopg/cojg/index.html. Our very own Community Employment Services at Mohawk College is an Employment Ontario Service Provider authorized to assess applications and disperse funds.

Opportunities like this don’t happen every day. Training is costly and these government supports provide employers with shared costs. To those looking to reinvest in their most valuable commodities, human resources, they have no more excuses. The evidence is too great in support of continued training to ignore. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant is your opportunity to train and upgrade your employees.

Kym McCreary-Stewart– Kym McCreary-Stewart
Career Consultant Certificate ’09/Writing for Publication ’08
Follow @CESMohawk

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