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February 21, 2012
A Workforce Development Strategy for Toronto
Combatting the twin challenges of persistent unemployment and sectoral talent shortages is the goal of Working as One, A Workforce Development Strategy for Toronto, presented to the City’s Economic Development Committee today.

Developed by the City’s Employment and Social Services Division, Working as One focuses on better ways to integrate services for employers and job seekers in Toronto for the benefit of both. According to Mayor Rob Ford, "This is exactly what the City should be doing to support employers and ensure that people get opportunities and jobs."

The Working as One report presents City Council with a number of recommendations to strengthen workforce development. It also provides practical approaches to address the challenges facing employers and people seeking jobs.

The proposed strategy focuses on three key objectives: ensure that employers' workforce needs are addressed; ensure that unemployed city residents get access to opportunities and jobs; and deliver the best possible value to employers, job seekers, communities and the City for the resources invested in workforce development.

“Working as One is a practical, collaborative strategy based on what works,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “It reflects the City’s determination to improve the process of connecting employers and job seekers across the city, and our desire to take the lead in this vital effort."

The strategy was prepared in response to serious challenges facing Toronto’s employers and job seekers as a result of the recent recession and ongoing economic uncertainty. While Toronto’s unemployment rates remain above nine per cent and the length of time that people are unemployed is increasing, employers often have difficulties finding the right people to fill jobs.

For years, the City has worked with employers, community organizations and other governments to support job creation, provide job opportunities for unemployed residents, and improve services to employers and job seekers. The Workforce Development Strategy embodied in Working as One is designed to work hand-in-hand with the City's Economic Development Strategy to both broaden and intensify Toronto's efforts to support people, connect businesses and strengthen communities across the city.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Darrin Vermeersch
Employment and Social Services



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