Another pillar of the business-focused platform, Vote Prosperity, is fostering job creation. In the 2017 Ontario Economic Report, industry reported a high perception of risk in the economy. This perception leads to reduced incentive to invest in their own or other businesses and encourages business to keep their assets liquid and flexible.
The creation of jobs is no easy task. There is the traditional supply and demand that requires a business to expand or contract leading to the creation or elimination of jobs. But the business regulatory
environment also plays a significant part in this process.
Recommendations in Vote Prosperity to encourage development of skills and talent include:
1. Modernize the apprenticeship system.
The current platforms utilized throughout the apprenticeship application and training processes are onerous, outdated and fragmented. There is an opportunity to enhance support for apprentices by leveraging the Ontario College Application Service to provide candidates with an electronic, single-entry access to the apprenticeship application and registration process.
In addition, it is critical that the province revise the current journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio.
Despite the recent decision to revise several ratios to start at 1:1, there needs to be greater flexibility within the Ontario apprenticeship framework, like other jurisdictions across Canada. In Nova Scotia, employers can apply for a ratio increase for the number of apprentices per journeyperson on a per-project basis. The implementation of a similar process in Ontario could alleviate some of the challenges that employers experience with respect to recruiting sufficient journeypersons to hire additional apprentices.
“We're glad to see our work around apprenticeship ratios be recognized in this report," says Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. "Our members have been telling us that this is an area for improvement, so to have it part of the election dialogue is a good step forward."
2. Redesign Employment Ontario services for both jobseekers and employers and evaluate the potential of an outcomes-based funding model.
Technology has facilitated unprecedented access to information through a variety of channels, creating greater efficiencies and matching clients to services like never before. Clients now expect interaction with providers to be convenient, flexible and personalized – and government services are not exempt from that expectation. Employment Ontario services should be client-centric, to ensure it is straightforward for
individuals to find jobs and employers to find employees.
Furthermore, we recommend that government evaluate the potential of an outcomes-based funding model for employment services.
3. Work with industry and post-secondary institutions to ensure that program offerings remain responsive to the changing labour market dynamics and the regional and sectoral needs of Ontario’s business community.
Ontario’s tourism, agriculture and mining sectors, to name just a few, are experiencing considerable
labour shortages. To address this, we encourage more effective collaboration between government and industry and post-secondary associations, such as Colleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities, to ensure that program offerings remain responsive to concerns of labour shortages in some of Ontario’s crucial sectors.
Learn more about the other three pillars in Vote Prosperity.