Ontario Training Young People for Careers in Creative Industries

Published on August 09, 2021

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing almost $1 million to expand on-the-job training for 350 young people in creative industries like film, music, gaming and animation.

This initiative is focused on youth (including Black, Indigenous, and newcomer youth, as well as youth with disabilities) who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, to help them connect to promising careers and contribute to the strength of our economy.

 “Ontario is a great place for film and TV production – we have beautiful scenery, world-class talent, innovative partnerships, and over 45 000 skilled workers employed in the film industry,” said MPP Deepak Anand, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development.

“Not only are these well-paying jobs, these are The Dream Jobs. It’s clear that Ontario has, and will continue to produce top-level talent and a highly skilled workforce, if the right tools are given to them,” he concluded.

The project, led by the Stratagem Group, Magnet, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is being delivered by the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and Ontario colleges to students through a mix of online and in-person learning, with part of the learning happening in the classroom and part of it on the job. During the eight-to-12-week program, participants will learn from top tier industry talent and will work together each week to research and collaborate on projects in their chosen field.

“Doing what you love doesn’t have to mean giving up a good paycheque,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “The creative industries offer many exciting and well-paying opportunities for young people looking to start an in-demand career.”

At the completion of their training, the participants will be better prepared for careers in creative industries including jobs in:

  • Animation
  • Construction and set design
  • Documentary filmmaker/producer
  • Location scouting
  • Post-production/editing production
  • Props managing
  • Sound production.

Some of these careers have an average salary of $70,000+ a year, and in the first quarter of 2021, there were 400 unfilled jobs in the performing arts, spectator sports and related industries (Statistics Canada’s Job Vacancy and Wage Survey).

Participants are referred to the program through TCHC, or their secondary or postsecondary schools. Those placed through TCHC will be paid for both in-class and on-the-job training, and high school and post-secondary students will receive credits towards graduation. Participants will also receive a microcredential badge for their work.

This funding is part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quick Facts

  • For more information about Stratagem Group and to apply for this program, please contact the Toronto District School Board experiential learning team or your post secondary school’s media arts and design departments. If you are not a student, please contact the Resident and Community Services Division at Toronto Community Housing.
  • The unemployment rate in Ontario for youth aged 15-24 in July 2021 was 14.5 per cent, well above Ontario’s unemployment rate of 8.0 per cent.
  • As of July 2021, young people accounted for 46 per cent of the net job loss in Ontario since February 2020.
  • Ontario employed 44 500 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs in the film industry prior to COVID in 2019.
  • Ontario productions were nominated for 54 Emmys in 2021, including shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Queen’s Gambit, Star Trek: Discovery, and more.
  • Mississauga is home to 6 major film studios, including a state-of-the-art, 260 000 square foot CBS Studios Facility. Nearly all these film studios have arrived in the last 4 years.
  • Average salaries for select creative industry jobs:
  • $71,000 – Producer or director in Ontario
  • $55,000 – Audio or video technician in Canada in 2020
  • $54,000 – Technical support staff in film and animation

Additional Resources