As the province gradually starts to recover, Ontario is creating opportunities for young people through the inaugural work and membership of the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity. To further support disadvantaged youth and job seekers from underrepresented groups, the province is investing $2.2 million to help them develop the skills they need for successful careers.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Jamil Jivani, Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities, at Youth Employment Services in Toronto.
This morning, Premier Ford and Minister Smith attended the inaugural meeting of the Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity to congratulate Chair Jamil Jivani and all of the new Council members. The Council, a key part of the government’s ongoing COVID-19 jobs and recovery efforts, is providing an avenue for young people to engage with government decision-makers and share ideas for building a diverse, skilled and future-oriented workforce. This group of multi-generational leaders will be instrumental in promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and talent with a goal of decreasing youth unemployment rates.
One of the Council’s initial tasks will be to gather feedback on the Black Youth Action Plan from individuals and organizations in Ontario’s Black communities, including current program partners, business owners and executives, opportunity-minded community groups, organized labour, employment services and training agencies, chambers of commerce, business associations, places of worship, civic institutions, and more. In addition to Council outreach, individuals and organizations will be invited to submit their feedback, recommendations and experiences on the Black Youth Action Plan and how to improve economic success and opportunities for Ontario’s Black communities via email to BYAPfeedback@ontario.ca.
The government is also investing more than $2.2 million to support eight unique projects in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that will help nearly 500 young people and job seekers from underrepresented groups receive practical on-the-job experience in a wide variety of sectors.
As part of the government’s overall investment, $500,000 will be used to prepare 100 disadvantaged youth with training in cloud computing and programming. The 12-week program is run by Youth Employment Services in partnership with Amazon, Accenture and Fast Lane training.
These projects were developed in cooperation with industry, education and training providers. They drive innovation, help employers find skilled workers, and help job seekers begin well-paid careers.
Ontario is pleased to announce that long-term care residents can once again leave their residences for short-stay and temporary absences.
Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, effective immediately, residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences. For ‘short-stay’ absences — those that do not include an overnight stay — homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures, including physical distancing. When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate.
Residents may also leave for ‘temporary’ absences of one or more nights. Temporary absences will be at the discretion of the home and decided on a case-by-case basis based on safety factors like the risk associated with the absence (e.g., for a family weekend vs. a large gathering) and ability of the home to help residents self-isolate upon return. For the protection of their neighbours, residents who leave on a temporary absence will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to the home. If a home makes the decision to deny a temporary absence request, they must communicate their rationale in writing.
An updated policy for visits to long-term care homes will be released next week. This and other direction on safety in long-term care homes will continue to be updated as Ontario’s experience with COVID-19 evolves, and the government will continue to make every effort to support the safety and emotional wellbeing of residents.