Training & Education
Ontario’s Group Sponsorship Grant aims to help small businesses jointly train apprentices
By Anthony Capkun
December 9, 2020 – The Ontario government is investing $20 million to help small businesses jointly sponsor and train apprentices through the new Group Sponsorship Grant program, with the goal of increasing the number of people training and working in the skilled trades.
The program will reduce pressure on any one employer to see an apprentice through to completion of training, says the province, and provide apprentices with the support needed to become a registered journeyman.
“This program is a great example of how we are encouraging more employer participation in apprenticeship, helping businesses find the talent they need while engaging and preparing people for meaningful careers in the skilled trades,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training & Skills Development.
Group sponsors consist of two or more people who act as a single sponsor to collectively provide training to apprentices to grow their skills and help them gain work experience to improve their career success. Group sponsors share apprenticeship management and training responsibilities, including:
• interviewing and selecting prospective apprentices and establishing a training network
• co-ordinating and monitoring the apprentice’s on-the-job workplace training
• submitting documentation for apprenticeship application, registration of training agreements and completion of the apprenticeship training programs
• supporting apprentices through the complete apprenticeship cycle, including registration, workplace and classroom-based training, completion and trade certification
• overseeing affiliated employers and organizations who provide apprenticeship training and ensure they are delivering apprenticeship training in accordance with the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, its regulations and training standards
The application is available to existing and new group sponsors. Successful applicants may receive funding for up to three years.
Businesses interested in the Group Sponsorship Grant program may be eligible to receive grants of up to $1 million for the 2020-2021 year.
A sponsor, as defined in the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, is a person who has been approved by the Ministry to enter into a registered training agreement and ensures that the apprentice is provided with the training required.
There are currently 119 group sponsors in Ontario with active apprentices.
According to the province, nearly one in three journeymen were aged 55 years or older in 2016, “with many retirements expected in the near future”.