Ontario Creating Opportunities for Youth in Niagara

Ontario Creating Opportunities for Youth in Niagara


Ontario Creating Opportunities for Youth in Niagara

New project will help 250 young people train for well-paying technology careers

July 18, 2023 Premier’s Office

LINCOLN — The Ontario government is investing $2.9 million to help 250 young people in the Niagara region train for meaningful and well-paying careers in the technology sector. Led by the Town of Lincoln, the Youth Skills Studio will prepare people under the age of 30 for the future of work with a four-month paid training program and connections to 75 small and medium-sized businesses hiring in high-tech, manufacturing, hospitality, tourism, and other critical sectors.

“This investment will give youth in the Niagara region the skills they need to start or advance their careers in growing industries,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Right across the province, we’re connecting young people to the jobs of the future and businesses to the skilled workforce they need to grow and expand.”

Young people in Ontario are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the provincial average. At the same time, more than 30,000 jobs are going unfilled in the Niagara region. The Youth Skills Studio will teach participants about digital marketing, web development, digital systems administration, cloud computing, and IT to ensure Niagara’s growing economy has the skilled technology workers it needs.

“The future of work is here, and our government is on a mission to ensure young people get a hand up to the training they need to land better jobs and bigger paycheques,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “This project will ensure young people in Niagara get an opportunity to gain real-world experience with local employers that will serve them the rest of their lives.”

Participants will have the chance to work on real-world projects and business cases submitted by employers in the community. They will be paid $18/hour for the duration of the training and work and be reimbursed for transportation costs.

This project is funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, an over $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.


Quick Facts

  • In-person training and workshops will take place in Beamsville and participating businesses will be from across the Niagara region.
  • The program is available for high school students through to those age 29.
  • For more information on the program, contact Paul at PDiIanni@lincoln.ca.
  • Through its first three funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 596 projects aiming to help almost 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.
  • The Ontario government is also investing $224 million into the new Skills Development Fund Capital Stream. The fund launched on June 30th to support the building and updrade of training centres.
  • The Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


“We know in-demand jobs in the skilled trades and other critical sectors continue to grow. Our ongoing partnership with the Town of Lincoln and the Youth Skills Studio of Civiconnect demonstrates our government’s commitment to working with local partners to build a highly skilled and competitive workforce and will ensure our province remains the engine of Canada’s economy.”

– Sam Oosterhoff MPP for Niagara West

“On behalf of Council for the Town of Lincoln, I would like to thank the province for their continued support of our Youth Skills Studio. This investment is a win-win for our community members who will gain valuable training here in Lincoln, and for our businesses across key sectors who will benefit from workforce development initiatives to bolster our growing economy.”

– Sandra Easton Mayor, Town of Lincoln

“On behalf of the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association, I would like to thank Minister McNaughton and his team for bringing forward initiatives such as this one that is being announced in the Niagara region today. These programs are instrumental in helping youth gain experience and confidence. These are two ingredients that are essential for helping today’s youth prepare for well-paying, full-time careers within our society. This program and others like our Career-Ready with CTMA: Expanding Opportunities program represent the type of “out of box” thinking that have become synonymous with the creative initiatives that this ministry is bringing forward.”

– Robert Cattle Executive Director, Canadian Tooling and Machining Association

“For Ontario to succeed and compete in the digital economy, we must ensure that our small and medium-sized enterprises have access to young talent with the IT skills needed to drive the growth and resilience of their businesses. The Youth Skills Studio program is a replicable model for success in the Niagara region, leveraging the enormous potential of digitization.”

– Willa Black Vice President, Corporate Affairs Cisco Canada and Founder, Connected North

“Enabling youth to engage in hands-on learning experiences within the technology realm of small and medium-sized manufacturers is of great value to both young workers and to business. In our sector, we enthusiastically support meaningful opportunities for the next generation of talented minds to grow and learn by doing.”

– Dennis Darby President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

“Here at FutureTek we know first hand the importance of government investment in this critical field. We applaud Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton for their continued support for the sector, and for helping train the next generation of high-tech workers.”

– Elena Ricci Co-Founder & CEO, FutureTek

“Skilled talent is the most important factor for success in the 21st century innovation economy. All efforts to enhance Ontario’s workforce and prepare them for technology jobs are tremendously valuable — both for the workers and for the businesses who will put them to work. Creating a pipeline that encourages young people to adopt skills and enter the technology sector is a great step for their long-term economic future.”

– Skaidra Puodziunas Director of Ontario Affairs, Council of Canadian Innovators


Additional Resources


Media Contacts

Stephanie Bellotto Premier’s Office Stephanie.Bellotto@ontario.ca

Sydney Dubin Minister McNaughton’s Office Sydney.Dubin@ontario.ca

Anuradha Dhar Communications Branch mlitsdmedialine@ontario.ca

  • Previous Ontario Welcomes $100 Million Manufacturing Investment
  • Next Niagara region’s wine sector has billions in untapped potential, report finds