The application period is now open for the second round of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF). SDF funding is intended to support Ontario’s economic recovery by unlocking the economic potential of the skilled trades. There is $83M available and applications will be accepted until March 31, 2022, or until all funds are distributed.
Projects that upskill the current workforce and/or prepare the future workforce are eligible for funding. Training projects will be given special consideration if they support postsecondary and high school graduates with disabilities or those experiencing mental health challenges.
Applications must demonstrate how funding will support one or more of the following 3 focus areas:
- Ensure a resilient workforce by supporting access into the labour market, and/or retention and capacity-building for employers
- Empower workers and job seekers, including women and Indigenous peoples, who face higher barriers of entry, and enhance pathways into meaningful and gainful employment
- Encourage partnerships across the economy
As an example of the type of training projects funded through the SDF, the Labourers’ International Union of North America received $334,487 in the previous round of funding. The funding gives 8,000 members of a local chapter, as well as construction craft worker apprentices, free access to a wide range of online skills and safety courses.