Province pledges to make life easier for job seekers in Hamilton
The province says it's adopting a new process that will better connect job seekers in the Hamilton and Niagara regions with employment opportunities.
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced the change Friday (Feb. 14).
According to the province, the Ontario government is moving ahead with the reform of the employment services system by introducing new service system managers in three prototype regions (Peel, Hamilton-Niagara, and Muskoka-Kawarthas) across Ontario.
The province says this approach will create an efficient employment service to meet the needs of all clients, including those on social assistance or with a disability, be more responsive to local labour market needs, and drive results for job seekers, employers and communities.
The province says the prototype projects will bring together employment services which were previously delivered separately through Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program and Employment Ontario Employment Service.
In the three regions, new service system managers have been selected to lead the implementation and will be paid based on their results.
Peel is one of the regions in the province where a new service system manager will begin operating this year. Ontario selected WCG, part of the APM group, as the new service system manager for Peel.
For Hamilton-Niagara, the consortium led by Fedcap includes two current Employment Ontario service providers (Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, Operation Springboard) and two current providers of Ontario Disability Support Program Employment Supports (Corbrook, Community Living Toronto).
“This is a big change to the process that ordinary job seekers and employers may not notice,” McNaughton said in a statement. “At the ground level, things will work better, move faster. But from a system perspective, the shift is a big one. Government is getting out of the way, and allowing local communities to tailor the program to their specific needs.”
As for what job seekers can expect, the province says the new service system managers will start establishing a presence in their prototype region and familiarizing themselves with the existing employment service provider network. However, clients will not experience any changes to how they access employment services and supports at this time, according to the province.
Lessons learned from the prototype regions will be applied to the future roll out across the province (expected to start in 2022)," the province says.
"As the new system is implemented in the prototype regions, the government will continue to work with service delivery partners across Ontario to plan and deliver stronger, more localized employment and social assistance services," the province says on its website.
The changes that will be introduced in the prototype phase will not apply to the services delivered on-reserve by First Nations, including Ontario Works Employment Assistance and Employment Ontario employment services.