Micro-credentials Challenge Fund offers 250 rapid training programs, including trades

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Up to 250 new rapid training programs will be available for enrolment in 2022 through the Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund, part of the province’s $15 million investment to create industry-relevant micro-credentials at colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges.

“Our government continues to prioritize quick, flexible training opportunities that will prepare Ontarians for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Jill Dunlop, minister of colleges and universities.

“These micro-credentials will be developed in collaboration with industry to respond to regional labour market needs and will strengthen partnerships between postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers.”

Many of the courses are focused on skilled trades, including a new Foundations of Construction micro-credential at Durham College.

The new program was developed in consultation with industry experts and is geared to youth who have an interest in working in the construction and trades industry.

It consists of two micro credentials; graduates will hold a Jobsite Readiness Recognition of Achievement. Students will be prepared for entry-level jobs in the construction industry and have all required safety certifications.

“As we look to the future, it’s clear the way we work is changing, and many jobs are not going back to the way they were before. That is why our government is investing in programs that help people upgrade their skills to earn bigger paychecks at work or start new careers,” said Monte McNaughton minister of labour, training and skills development.

The province will provide $300,000 to develop and launch a new micro-credentials portal to allow users to search by industry, area of focus, institution and other criteria.

“This new gateway for accessible, lifelong learning will make it easier for all learners to upskill and reskill for tomorrow’s in-demand jobs,” said Robert Luke, CEO, eCampusOntario.

Earlier this year, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer student financial assistance for micro-credentials. More than 1,200 micro-credentials are now approved for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), with more being approved on a regular basis.

Micro-credentials are rapid training programs that help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment. Alongside degrees, diplomas and certificates, micro-credentials offer a new postsecondary option for learners.

Offered by public and private colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes, micro-credentials are short in duration, often online and can be designed for the specific needs of employers and jobs.

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