McGuinty Government Helping More Adults Prepare For Better Jobs In Lambton Kent



    Ontario's Workers And Newcomers Will Benefit From $18 Million In New
    Investments

    SARNIA, ON, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is helping more
adults who have left school gain the literacy, numeracy and essential skills
they need to land better jobs, Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges
and Universities, and Caroline Di Cocco, MPP Sarnia-Lambton, announced today.
    "We're keeping Ontario moving forward by helping everyone reach their
potential," said Bentley. "By providing adults with alternate routes to
postsecondary education or training, we are making it quicker and easier to
get the workplace skills needed for better jobs and greater prosperity."
    "It is important that we enhance programs that give adults more
opportunities to receive post secondary education and training," said Di
Cocco. "This announcement will provide the kind of skill and job training that
in turn brings hope for a better future."

    The government's new investments include:
    
    -   A $7-million increase from the Ministry of Education to school boards
        in the 2008-09 school year for teaching adults who are enrolled in
        continuing education programs
    -   A $4.2-million increase from the Ministry of Citizenship and
        Immigration to school boards in the 2008-09 school year for teaching
        adults who are taking non-credit English as a second language and
        French as a second language programs
    -   A $1.7-million investment from the Ministry of Education for pilot
        projects that will grant high school credits for some newcomers'
        first languages, improve identification of skills and knowledge, and
        build effective community partnerships
    -   A $5-million increase from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and
        Universities for academic upgrading programs that help adults
        who left high school prior to graduation.
    

    As part of the program, the McGuinty government is investing $152,000 in
innovative partnerships involving the Lambton Kent District School Board,
Lambton College and St. Clair College, which will help 59 adult learners in
Sarnia, Wallaceburg and Chatham who have expressed an interest in
apprenticeship or postsecondary training but who need academic supports to be
successful.
    "Everyone, including adults out of school for a few years, can now access
academic upgrading and improve their skills for the job market," said
Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Pat Hoy. "This is a tremendous investment in local
residents and their future."
    "It's important for the future of Wallaceburg that its workforce
continues to evolve and expand its skills," said Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP
Maria Van Bommel. "This funding will assist in Wallaceburg's efforts to move
forward."
    "The Lambton Kent District School Board is pleased to partner with our
local colleges to provide adults with opportunities to increase their skills,"
stated Jane Bryce, Chair of the Board. "Academic upgrading is just one
component of lifelong learning."
    In addition to participating in partnership, this year Lambton College
will receive an additional $88,100 for academic upgrading to help 35 more
learners in Lambton Kent, for a total of $398,500 in combined academic
upgrading and literacy support benefitting 246 learners.
    "In today's economy a post secondary education is a prerequisite to
compete successfully," said Tony Hanlon, President of Lambton College. "We are
pleased to partner with the Lambton Kent District School Board to offer viable
options for adults who wish to complete the academic requirements to enter
apprenticeship or other postsecondary programs."
    "St. Clair College is pleased to continue this unique partnership after a
successful pilot run earlier this year," said Dr. John Strasser, President of
St. Clair College. "The Government of Ontario and especially Minister Bentley
should be applauded for their continual search to find innovative ways to
further the education of those students interested in the skilled trades. In
the end, the students gain a successful launch to a career and Ontario takes a
positive step to solving its shortage of qualified skilled trades workers."
    Community partnerships are a delivery method designed following the
recommendations in Education Minister Kathleen Wynne's Ontario Learns report.
The increased 2007-08 investment is supporting the development of 10 new
partnerships. It will also increase funding to organizations and colleges
already providing academic upgrading. As a result, academic upgrading is
expected to reach 7,200 people this year, around 2,200 more than the 2006-07
target.
    "We are committed to helping adults who have taken positive and proactive
steps to return to school so they can have a brighter future for themselves
and their families," said Wynne. "That's why we have made a significant
investment to improve the adult education system in Ontario."

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                         www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             ACADEMIC UPGRADING

    Academic upgrading is part of the Literacy and Basic Skills program, which
helps adults who have left school gain the literacy, numeracy and essential
skills they need to land better jobs, access further education and training,
and/or increase their independence.
    Literacy and Basic Skills services focus on people whose literacy skills
fall below Grade 9 of the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum. Academic
upgrading helps adults whose skills are at the Grade 10-12 level. Last year,
more than two-thirds of learners served went on to further education and
employment.

    Academic upgrading was originally announced in the 2004 Ontario Budget. In
2007-08, the government fulfills its budget commitment, with an investment of
$15 million that:

    -   Expands the list of community partners, adding nine local
        organizations and one school board
    -   Increases investments in community partnerships launched in 2006-07
    -   Increases funding to community colleges.

    The new partners will help extend the program's reach to new communities
and learners, including francophones, Aboriginal peoples, persons with
disabilities and those who would be the first in their families to attend
college or university.
    In 2007-08, the McGuinty government is investing close to $74 million in
literacy programming. Literacy and Basic Skills is part of Employment Ontario,
the new integrated employment and training network, which strengthens pathways
to postsecondary education, apprenticeship and employment. Approximately
51,000 learners will receive Literacy and Basic Skills services this year,
7,200 of whom are expected to participate in academic upgrading.

    Contact:
    Miriam Griffin
    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    416-325-7526

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Emily Bain, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1609;
Miriam Griffin, Communications Branch, (416) 325-7526; Public Inquiries: (416)
325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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