Ontario Advanced Manufacturing Companies have built, tested & proven ‘Work-Based Learning’ to successfully hire and train Unemployed/Unskilled People in Entry/Mid-Level Skilled Jobs and start rewarding careers

The WBLC Team has worked with more than 50 Ontario advanced manufacturing companies of all sizes to successfully build, test and prove Work-Based Learning – a unique new way of filling important entry and mid-level skills gaps in their workforces.  From 2014 to 2018, these companies used Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium (OMLC) programs – supported by Ontario’s Youth Skills Connections (YSC) program – to assess, select, hire and train over 550 interested and capable unskilled unemployed youth as CNC Machinists, CNC Setup, CNC Operators, CMM Operators and Structural Airframe Assemblers and start them towards rewarding, long-term careers in advanced manufacturing.

This unique new way of hiring and training / upskilling is called ‘Work-Based Learning’ – a fast (½ the normal training time), reliable (92% success rate) and efficient (½ the cost) way for companies to get the skilled employees they need, AND, at the same time, for people who have few technical skills, little or no relevant work experience and often limited educational achievement to be hired, acquire employer-valued technical knowledge & skills for good paying jobs and start a solid career path.

How did this happen? Ontario advanced manufacturing companies needed – and still need – many CNC Machinists, CNC Operators and Structural Airframe Assemblers but couldn’t – and still can’t – find enough experienced ones, so agreed that training programs would be a good solution and decided to take the lead. The Ontario Government contributed up to $4.5 million through the Youth Skills Connections (YSC) Program, companies contributed up to a further $7.3 million, and the OMLC Work-Based Learning Team provided the expertise, methods and systems to deliver ‘competencies-based, outcomes-driven’ Assessment, Hiring & Work-Based Learning programs – fast, reliable and low-cost training.

What are the results? From early 2014 to early 2019, dozens of Ontario advanced manufacturing companies hired/nominated over 550 young people to be trained to be CNC Machinists, CNC Setup, CNC Operators, CMM Operators and Structural Airframe Assemblers.  Over 92% of Trainees who completed their training achieved OMLC Certification – a remarkably high rate considering that these were young people (18-29) – many having only their high school diploma or less and most having never worked in manufacturing.   

The evidence is clear – WBLC’s assessment & learning programs are highly successful in selecting motivated people with the right aptitudes and attitudes for the job and helping them get hired and acquire the technical knowledge and skills that companies want – mostly through ‘hands-on’ experiential learning in the workplace – to be productive, valued, promotable employees. And almost all OMLC-Certified Trainees continue as valued employees in their company.