Employment Ontario Recovery Planning - June 22, 2020

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Office of the Assistant Deputy Minister
Employment and Training Division
777 Bay Street, 26th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 2E5


To: Employment Ontario Delivery Partners

From: David Carter-Whitney, Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Training Division

Date: June 22, 2020

Subject: Employment Ontario Recovery Planning

Dear Employment Ontario partner:

I'm writing to provide you with information on the ministry's guidance and expectations as businesses reopen across the province. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the ways in which we work. With your support, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development remains committed to meeting the training needs of Ontario’s workforce, even during these challenging times. I'd like to thank you for the various alternative service delivery approaches that many of you have taken. In the coming months, we will need to be adaptive, applying creative and local solutions to service delivery as the province reopens.

Public health and safety are still the government’s main priority. As such, we all need to continue doing our part to support the most recent extension of the emergency orders as well as the framework for a staged approach for reopening the province. By opening businesses in stages, the government lessens the pressure on services like public transit and ensures critical supplies, such as, personal protective equipment, are diverted to the health care workers and first responders that need it most. This is why we strongly encourage your continued delivery of virtual programming to ensure we balance the need for our services with the greater need to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario.

As you begin to plan your organization’s gradual and safe reopening, I encourage you to review and familiarize yourself with Ontario's safety guidelines. These guidelines, which support workplaces in protecting their workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19, will continue to be updated as new sectors of the economy begin to reopen. These resources also include advice on developing a safety plan. While the ministry will not be reviewing or approving individual plans, you can contact ministry staff to discuss any questions or concerns. The ministry maintains its position that we will continue to demonstrate reasonable flexibility; we appreciate that continuing to deliver services remotely requires thoughtful planning in terms of resourcing and capacity building. Prior to making a decision to reopen, please review the province’s COVID-19 information page and consult your local health authority.

The government recently provided information regarding reopening of services that include training centres. The ministry will work closely with impacted service providers, including training delivery agents, to resume certain training activities as details become available.

Finally, some service providers have expressed concerns with meeting their service delivery targets because of disruptions related to the pandemic. The ministry recognizes the impacts of these disruptions and will take them into account when evaluating certain requirements, such as, service quality standard and client intake. Collectively, we need to focus on providing whatever supports we can in the current environment, while preparing to resume our important role for employers and clients when this can be done safely.

The ministry is invested in your success. In the months to follow, employment and training services will be more important than ever. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership to address our shared concerns. The ministry will also seek opportunities to provide jobseekers and employers with information on the various programs and services that are currently available through Employment Ontario.

Thank you again for your ongoing commitment to supporting job seekers, employers, and communities throughout our Employment Ontario network. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your regional director or, if in one of the three prototype areas, your service system manager.


Original signed by David Carter-Whitney, Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Training Division