LONDON, ONT. — The Ontario government has announced it is spending $20 million to help small businesses jointly sponsor and train apprentices.
The new Group Sponsorship Grant program is intended to reduce pressure on any one employer to see an apprentice through to completion of their training, stated a recent release.
Group sponsors consist of two or more people who act as a single sponsor to collectively provide training to apprentices to help them gain work experience to improve their career success. Group sponsors share apprenticeship management and training responsibilities, including interviewing and selecting prospective apprentices and establishing a training network; co-ordinate and monitor the apprentice’s on-the-job workplace training; and submit documentation for apprenticeship application, registration of training agreements and completion of the apprenticeship training programs.
“Our government’s Group Sponsorship Grant will bring more employers and apprentices together and will contribute to our province’s economic recovery,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton in the release. “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.”
The program also includes support for apprentices through the apprenticeship cycle, including registration, workplace and classroom-based training, completion and trade certification; and overseeing affiliated employers and organizations who provide apprenticeship training and ensuring they are delivering apprenticeship training in accordance with the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, its regulations and training standards.
The application is available to existing and new group sponsors. Successful applicants may receive funding for up to three years.
Stephen Hamilton, director of public affairs, Ontario, for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, commented, “We’re strongly encouraging employers to participate. This is their chance to help launch meaningful careers and help ensure workers have the right skills to support businesses and our economy.”