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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Training Veterans for In-Demand Careers

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $4.3 million in four innovative training projects to help 356 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members prepare for in-demand jobs and transition to civilian life. Every year, 8,000 Canadian Armed Forces members are released from service.


“Men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces give their all for this country. When the time comes to hang up their uniform, they deserve to know help will be there,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is proud to invest in programs that help our veterans to find well-paying and rewarding careers and build better lives.”

The free programs announced today will prepare veterans for well-paying careers in in-demand sectors like healthcare, skilled trades, software development, cyber security, and others. The first project, led by True Patriot Love Foundation, will help 130 jobseekers land meaningful jobs in healthcare. They will also be partnering with 40 Ontario employers from a variety of sectors to educate and inform them on the benefits of hiring veterans and best practices for reducing barriers to employment.

"Many of our Veterans can find the transition to a new career post service challenging; bringing with it changes in community, potential loss of purpose and a need to align skills learned in the military with opportunities in the civilian sector,” said Nick Booth, Chief Executive Officer of True Patriot Love Foundation. “As Canada’s Foundation for the military community, True Patriot Love welcomes this investment in supporting Veterans in post-service employment, and we applaud the Ontario government’s commitment to supporting those who served.”

The other three projects are led by Coding for Veterans, Helmets to Hardhats and the Roland Gossage Foundation, benefitting 226 jobseekers. They will offer a variety of tailored supports, technical training, bootcamps, mentorship, apprenticeship referrals and counselling. These projects will focus on preparing veterans for lucrative careers in industries like software development, IT and construction.

“Our Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our freedoms, and as always, we have their backs,” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “That’s why we proudly support Veterans and their families through funding of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission to help them access mental health services and supports, transition to civilian life, and find new careers.”

These projects are funded through Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF) Training Stream, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. To date, the Ontario government has invested over $860 million in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream, helping half a million people take the next step in their careers.


Quick Facts

  • Skills Development Fund Training Stream applications are now open and will close on November 17, 2023.

  • Organizations with project ideas on ways to address challenges to hiring, training, or retaining workers can apply through Transfer Payment Ontario.

  • The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development will be conducting consultations with military spouses and veterans to understand employment-barriers faced by military spouses moving to Ontario and veterans transitioning to civilian life. Check out Military Spousal and Veteran Employment Challenges in Ontario to find out more.

  • In addition to the training projects announced today, True Patriot Love Foundation is receiving $1.04 million from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to support community-based projects that improve Veterans’ access to mental health and support services. These projects include job training courses, trauma and resilience programs, and mental health support through the creative arts.

  • The Soldiers’ Aid Commission helps Ontario’s Veterans and their families in financial need cover essential costs related to housing, specialized equipment, mental health support, employment, and more.

  • The Skills Development Fund Training Stream is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


Quotes

"As Ontario continues to find solutions to fill labour shortages, Helmets to Hardhats, with support from the Skills Development Fund Training Stream, will be able to expand on our engagement with an untapped demographic of youth talent within the military community. We will be able to offer specialized training programs and direct referrals into the workforce to ensure our clients can thrive in the unionized construction industry."

- James Hogarth Helmets to Hardhats, Executive Director

"Through the Skills Development Fund Training Stream, the Coding for Veterans program has been able to retrain over 200 military veterans, reservists, spouses and family members in Ontario in the areas of software development and cyber security. Our program helps those in the Canadian Armed Forces community transition from Deployment to Employment. With the assistance of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, graduates from the Coding for Veterans program have immediately gained employment with tech companies across the province as they go from serving on the battlefield to now being employed in cyberspace."

- Jeff Musson Executive Director, Coding for Veterans

"It is amazing to see the Ontario government's ongoing support of our veterans through the SDF program. Their support has allowed us to change the lives of our graduates in such a meaningful way. It makes me proud to be able to do this work with their partnership, and I look forward to continuing on this journey together."

- Roland Gossage CEO, Roland Gossage Foundation

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