Ontario Preparing Students for Jobs of Tomorrow

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Ontario Preparing Students for Jobs of Tomorrow

Province Helping 50,000 Students Gain Valuable Work Experience

Ministry of Education

Ontario is helping more young people prepare for successful careers with hands-on work experience and career counselling.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, was at the Economic Club today to talk about investments that Ontario is making in financial literacy and on-the-job learning.

Starting in September, more than 50,000 students will be enrolled in almost 1,900 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs that allow them to focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. This represents 2,000 additional students and 108 new programs for the 2017-18 school year. Students can choose from 19 different sectors, including agriculture, health and wellness, and transportation to help them prepare for apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace.

Over the next three years Ontario will introduce 17,000 more Grade 11 and 12 students to career options while obtaining their high school diploma, through the expansion of the SHSM program. As part of the 2017 budget, Ontario will invest nearly $190 million over three years to create 40,000 real world learning opportunities for students and recent graduates through the Career Kick-Start Strategy.

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

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“One of the reasons our Specialist High Skills Major program is such a success is that it complements a student’s individual learning style, interests and strengths. There is a strong demand for this program, and by expanding it, we’re helping more students gain the skills and competitive edge they will need to succeed now and in the future.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Education


“Ontario’s employers, educators and students agree that hands-on learning opportunities are essential for a successful career start. That’s why we are expanding work-focused learning and hands-on work placements, and improving guidance and career counselling. With Career Kick-Start, we are helping our students make smart career choices and find their place in Ontario’s economy of the future.”

Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development