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Ontario Moving Ahead with the Reform of Employment Services

Ontario’s Government is moving ahead with the reform of the employment services system by introducing new Service System Managers in three prototype regions across Ontario. 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.
  • Drive results for job seekers, employers and communities.

Milestones of the reform 

Winter 2019 – Announced plan to modernize employment services

  • In 2016, the Auditor General reported that Ontario’s employment and training programs were not effectively helping people find and keep full-time jobs.
  • On February 12, 2019 the government announced its plan to modernize Ontario’s employment services by creating a new service delivery model that integrates social assistance employment services into Employment Ontario.
  • Service System Managers would also be selected to plan and deliver more locally-responsive employment services starting in three prototype regions.

Spring/Summer 2019 – Engaged with stakeholders and partner

  • To ensure the new employment services system meets the needs of job seekers and employers, the government engaged with nearly 200 stakeholders and partners in spring/summer 2019.

Summer/Fall 2019 – Announced prototype regions and opened Service System Manager competition

  • On July 2, 2019, the government announced that the new employment services model would first be implemented in three prototype regions: Region of Peel, Hamilton-Niagara and Muskoka-Kawarthas.
  • A new competitive process open to any public, not-for-profit and private sector organization was launched to select Service System Managers for the three prototype regions.

January 2020 – Service System Managers selected

The government evaluated all qualified proposals and selected a Service System Manager for each prototype region that is best positioned to manage the employment system and deliver results:

  • For Region of Peel: WCG, part of the APM Group.
      • WCG is a Canadian subsidiary of The International APM Group Pty Ltd (APM), a global human service organization based in Australia. In the last year, APM supported more than 350,000 people across 10 countries by designing and delivering employment, health and rehabilitation services.
  • For Hamilton-Niagara: A consortium led by Fedcap.
      • 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).
  • For the Muskoka-Kawarthas region: Fleming College.
      • Fleming College has more than 50 years of experience delivering education, skills training and employment services to students, job seekers and employers. Each year, 3,000 job seekers access Employment Ontario services via Fleming College.

Next steps of the reform

  • 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.
  • Lessons learned from the prototype regions will be applied to the future roll out across the province (expected to start in 2022).
  • 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 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.

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