____Posted Thursday April 20, 2017 ____

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Province of Ontario to Boost On-the-Job Learning Opportunities for Students

Ontario is helping young people prepare for successful careers by creating 40,000 new work-related learning opportunities over three years for K-12 and postsecondary students, as well as recent graduates.

Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, announced the province's new Career Kick-Start Strategy while touring the Toronto office of technology company Salesforce.

Ontario has one of the most highly educated and skilled workforces in the world, but graduates often face challenges landing their first job if they lack work-related experience.

Career Kick-Start will create more opportunities for high school and postsecondary students, along with recent graduates, to build their resumes and develop job relevant skills. The initiative includes:

• Expanding the successful Specialist High Skills Major Program over the next three years to introduce 17,000 more Grade 11 and 12 students to career options while obtaining their high school diploma

• A new Career Ready Fund to help universities, colleges and employers create career-oriented learning experiences and related supports for students and recent graduates

• Supporting more than 3,000 high-impact, industry-led research internships through the Mitacs Accelerate program and 140 additional internships and fellowships per year in the TalentEdge program

• Giving all college and university students free access to high-quality, skills-focused online learning through Lynda.com.

Employers, schools and students agree that hands-on learning opportunities are essential for a successful career start. In addition to expanding the number of work-focused learning placements, the Ontario government is also investing in guidance and career counselling to expose students to a wider range of options for their future.

Opening doors to new careers is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

• Ontario will invest nearly $190 million over three years to support the Career Kick-Start Strategy.

• In 2016, 68 per cent of adults in Ontario had a postsecondary degree, up from 56 per cent in 2002 — higher than rates for any country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

• The province’s 44 universities and colleges produce more than 39,600 skilled graduates each year in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

• Ontario is making college and university tuition free for more than 210,000 students starting this fall through the new Ontario Student Assistance Program. Applications are now open.



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