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.


Companies Participating in WBLC Selection, Hiring, Learning and Certification Programs.

AAA Canada

Aluminum Mold and Pattern

Answer Precision

B.C. Instruments

Bombardier Aerospace


Compact Mould Ltd.

Cyclone Manufacturing Ltd.

Dellcom Aerospace

Diamond Aircraft

Dilast Tool & Die Ltd.

Dishon Limited

Duradie Technologies Inc.

E.D.M. Cut Inc.

Exco Engineering

FBT Inc.

FGL Precisions Works Inc.

Glueckler Metal Inc.

Hallink RSB Inc.

Hibar Systems Ltd.

Huronia Machine Services

Husky Injection Molding Systems

Intex Tooling Technologies

Likro Precision

Linamar Autocom

Linamar Camcor

Linamar Camtac

Linamar Cemtol

Linamar Comtech

Linamar Corvex

Linamar Eston

Linamar Gear


Linamar Hastech

Linamar Linex

Linamar LPC

Linamar LPP

Linamar Powercor

Linamar Roctel

Linamar Spinic

Linamar Transgear

Linamar Traxle

Linamar Vehcom

MHI Canada Aerospace

Micrometric Ltd.

MTH Manufacturing Inc.

New Era Tool

Noranco – Pickering

Noranco – Vaughan

Pinnacle Tool Works

Promation Engineering Ltd.

Queensway Machine

Robust Gear

Samco Machinery Ltd.

Schuller Machine & Tool


Sota Glazing Inc.

St. Clair College

Stackpole – Mississauga

Stackpole – Stratford

Tigercat Industries Inc.

Top Grade Mold

Vac Developments

XL Tool

WBLC Programs Are Accessible To A Diverse Range Of People

WBLC’s approach is, by its very nature, inclusive and equitable and therefore fully encouraging of equity, diversity and inclusion.  Our WBLC Assessment Process is based on an objective, competencies-based logic that reduces bias in the selection process.  The tests and other elements of our WBLC Assessment Process have been developed and validated by an industrial psychologist following a rigorous and disciplined process. They reliably and accurately measure workers’ and job applicants’ competencies and predict their behaviour and performance on the job, regardless of ethnic background, gender, economic, or other social differences.

WBLC’s experience with over 550 Youth who were hired by over 50 companies through OMLC programs is that most companies readily understand and accept competencies principles and are fully open to hiring trainees for entry- to mid-level skilled jobs on basis of our WBLC Assessment Process.  Analysis of our 550 Certified trainees reveals that approximately 15 % did not have a high school diploma, affirming that educational background is not a barrier to entry for skilled job training via WBL programs.

Approximately 15% of successful trainees were women.  While not a high proportion, this is a notable change in enabling women to access skilled jobs that have historically been almost 100% occupied by men, again demonstrating that WBL programs intrinsically support equity, diversity and inclusion. We provide employers with a competencies-based statement of their job requirements, by their definition, and we present them with an objective assessment of an individual’s essential employability competencies, so they can readily see that there is a good ‘fit’ between the individual and the job, regardless of their educational background, work experience, ethnic background, gender, economic, or other social situations. 

Finally, WBLC’s new innovation – Bridging Employability Competency Gaps – will enable unskilled people who have job-critical gaps in their non-technical employability competencies to bridge these gaps – quickly and easily – to become eligible for WBL training programs OR to be able to present their ‘Job Passport’ to other employers, certifying their essential employability competencies.  This will allow more unskilled people to be included in WBL programs and will enhance their access to a wider range of jobs.

And that is exactly what this program did for me. Prior to my current employment at Top Grade Molds, I had no experience at all with CNC machining. But after reading through a job ad, I found out that there is still an opportunity to get in the field without prior college education.

After obtaining an electronics diploma and working 6 years in the printing industry, I soon realized there was a problem. Not only was I not happy with my job, but I was also no longer interested in pursuing a career in electronics. And this is a problem many young people face while working jobs that don’t really seem to go where you would like.  

I can say with confidence that this program truly changed my life and gave me the motivation to pursue an abandoned dream when I thought these opportunities didn’t even exist.

Sanjiv Uthayakumar
remarks made at the OMLC CNC Machinist program graduation on January 23, 2019.
Certified OMLC CNC Machinist [Level 1]
Employed by Top Grade Mold, Toronto, ON

I wanted to give feedback about the program.  The experience has been great so far. The in-class training held by [our Instructor] at the training center has been extremely helpful. Moreover, [our Instructor] has been a great mentor and is a very meticulous and detail-oriented guy.

I think the program is very valuable to the manufacturing industry for it gives the students insight into the tools, materials and processes. I am sure if the company intends to grow and hire more young people, this training program is the best fit. For me and my family, this has been the first stepping stone to entering the aerospace industry in Canada and am looking forward to do well in the future. 

Last but not the least, thank you [to the OMLC Monitor/Coach] for your support! Thank you and regards.

Vivek Solanki
comments made via email on July 1, 2019
Certified OMLC Structural Airframe Assembler [Level 2]
Employed by MHI Canada Aerospace, Mississauga, ON