Regional Future Workforce Program

Help bridge the gap between students and Ontario’s automotive & mobility sector. Apply for the Regional Future Workforce Program to receive funding to support the next generation of talent.

OVIN’s Regional Future Workforce Program: Supporting Ontario's Future Talent

Have questions about this Program?

OVIN hosted two proponent information sessions for those interested in submitting to the Regional Future Workforce Program.

Session 1 was held on November 1, 2022. View the full recording on Zoom.

Session 2 was held on November 9, 2022. View the full recording on Zoom.

To see if your question has already been asked and answered, check out the FAQ document, which will be updated weekly.

Program overview

The Regional Future Workforce (RFW) Program is a pilot program through OVIN designed to encourage students of all ages, across all regions of Ontario, to pursue careers in the automotive and mobility sector.  

The RFW program aims to bridge the gap between all types of students (kindergarten to post-secondary) and the automotive and mobility industry. This work will focus on reducing the stigma associated with skilled trades and automotive industry careers.  

Recognizing the need for greater diversity within the sector, the Regional Future Workforce Program prioritizes engagement with students from equity-deserving and underrepresented groups with the aim to encourage these groups to participate in future opportunities within the automotive and mobility sector.  

The program will also provide further insights about the gaps between industry and academia to then inform future initiatives that will equip the next generation of talent with the skills and knowledge required for the sector’s evolution. 

Objectives

The goals of OVIN’s Regional Future Workforce Program are:  

  1. To increase exposure to automotive and mobility sector opportunities and learning programs among students across Ontario regions and grade levels (kindergarten to post-secondary)   
  2. To increase the number of equity-deserving and underrepresented groups exploring careers, learning and development opportunities in the automotive and mobility sector 
  3. To identify opportunities to build sustainable programs based on pilot programming  
  4. To facilitate collaboration across Ontario between non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and the automotive and mobility industry to build a strong talent pipeline 

Program Details

OVIN invites interested and qualified applicants to apply for up to $500,000 to develop and run initiatives as part of the Regional Future Workforce Program. Applicants are expected to create programs that engage a minimum of 500 students. These programs must be of no cost for the student to participate. Applicants must demonstrate experience in developing and implementing successful education programs for audience segments ranging from kindergarten to post-secondary.  

Applicants can apply to create programs in 4 audience segments:  

  1. Kindergarten to Grade 4  
  2. Grade 5 to Grade 9   
  3. Grade 10 to Grade 12  
  4. Post-secondary  

Applicants must apply for at least 2 audience segments under one program application. Note: program content must be unique for each audience segment served. 

Please note that the maximum funding an applicant can receive is $500,000 CAD in total, regardless of how many audience segments their program serves.  

Successful applicants will have until December 15, 2023, to complete their program.  

Program Guidelines

  • Applicants are required to partner with at least one organization when developing and implementing their program. Please check the requirements for partners under “Eligibility” section below.
  • Applicants are to indicate the grade range(s) of students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 they plan to engage during programming
  • Applicants are to indicate in which region across Ontario they will launch and deliver programming
  • Applicants must engage students from underrepresented groups in the area. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Women
    • Black, Indigenous & people of colour (BIPOC) communities
    • 2SLGBTQ+
    • People with disabilities
    • Immigrants/refugees/newcomers to Canada
    • French-speakers
    • Those living in remote areas
    • Those living in under-served communities (in this context, populations of people who face additional barriers to accessing learning or educational opportunities such as those with low socio-economic status)

Program Content Guidelines

Applicants are to indicate whether the content for their program will be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focused, non-STEM focused, or both STEM and non-STEM focused.  

  • The program content must focus on skills that would allow learners to succeed in the automotive and mobility sector. Review OVIN’s labour market data to learn more about which skills would allow learners to succeed in future careers in the sector.  

Program Components

This project consists of the following key components:   

  1. Program design, development and implementation   
  2. Program logistics and administration (includes staffing and resources) 
  3. Program marketing, promotion and outreach 
  4. Program showcase  
  5. Program monitoring and evaluation 

Eligibility

Eligible Applicants

  • Ontario based post-secondary education institutions   
  • Non-Profit Organizations that
    • have an Ontario-based bank account and 
    • run education programs for kindergarten to post-secondary students in Ontario  
  • Elementary and secondary public schools and school boards across Ontario 

Matching Contribution 

OVIN requires that successful proponents provide a matching contribution, meaning that one staff member per audience segment targeted has their salary covered by the applicant. Additional requirements include: 

  • The staff members must be involved in all key activities of the program (please refer to the program’s Key Components for more information) 
  • Volunteers do not qualify as staff members under OVIN’s matching contribution requirement 

Partnership Requirements

All partners must be Ontario–based

  • Industry partners must be automotive and mobility industry members, including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Tier 1 suppliers, and relevant industry associations. 
  • Elementary and secondary public schools, school boards and post-secondary institutions. 
  • Partners are expected to consult on program development to ensure it is in response to an industry skills/talent need. 
  • Overall partnership requirements are outlined below: 
Partnership RequirementsNon-profit organizationsPost-secondary Institutions School/ School boards 
Collaborate with at least one industry partner to develop programs  REQUIRED REQUIRED  REQUIRED  
Work with at least one post-secondary institution with strong automotive and mobility initiatives to develop programs STRONGLY ENCOURAGED N/A ENCOURAGED 
Work with at least one school/school board to coordinate student participation ENCOURAGED ENCOURAGED  N/A 

*Please note that program funds will only be released to successful applicants, and not to their partners. Industry partners are encouraged to contribute in-kind (expertise and other appropriate resources) towards the program. 

How to apply

Applicants are required to complete an Expression of Interest to submit to Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI). Following this submission, an OCI Manager will contact you to discuss the opportunity and provide any assistance (if required).   

Please complete and submit the expression of interest form by November 30, 2022. Please note that completion of this form does not constitute an application for funding. 

For more details about this program, please see the Program Guidelines. The entirety of the program’s documents can be found on OVIN’s Resource Documents page.

If your organization is selected to advance, the Program Manager will invite you to complete a full application.  If you have any questions about the process, please contact Christine Stenton, Talent Development Project Lead at cstenton@oc-innovation.ca.  

Expression of Interest

Complete this form by November 30, 2022 to express your interest in the Regional Future Workforce Program.