Dual Credit Program Announcement Overview

“Expanding the Dual Credit program to an additional 1,400 students demonstrates Ontario’s commitment to back-to-basics education that connects hands-on learning with good-paying, in-demand jobs, including in health care and in the skilled trades,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “This further increase in hands-on learning will help more students graduate with the real life and job skills they need for fulfilling careers in health care, from nurses to paramedics.”

Starting in 2023-24, students participating in the Dual Credit program will get more exposure to careers in health care, with courses that could include foundational learning in anatomy and key communication skills. This additional funding will also provide additional opportunities for up to 6,000 students in Grades 7 to 12 over the next three years to take part in hands‐on health care‐related activities across Ontario, such as participating in lab demonstrations on college campuses; meeting with college students; faculty and program co-ordinators; and touring college campuses.

“Our government is continuing to make record investments to connect people to the care they need when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Expanding the Dual Credit program is another way our government is giving students the opportunity to pursue health-related professions, growing our health care workforce now and for years to come.”

This announcement builds on the expansion of the Dual Credit program, including in the skilled trades, announced in 2022. For the 2023-24 school year, Ontario is investing a record $46.7 million in the Dual Credit program to give up to 27,000 students the opportunity to explore careers and earn college credits/apprenticeship training before they leave high school.

“The Dual Credit program will help students to enter higher education streams that lead to in-demand jobs,” said Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Providing early opportunities to learn about and be exposed to postsecondary foundational courses in health care training will give our youth the advantage they need to succeed and encourage more students to consider a career in our health services sector.” 

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Dual Credit program supports eligible secondary students to take college courses or apprenticeship training that count toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, degree or a Certificate of Apprenticeship.
  • Ontario high schools offer a variety of job skill programs to help meet the needs, interests and strengths of all students, engaging them in learning and preparing them for graduation, life beyond secondary school and the jobs of the future. In addition to Dual Credits, students can also take advantage of:
    • The Specialist High Skills Major program supports Grade 11 and 12 students to explore careers in 19 sectors, 13 of which are closely related to technological education and the skilled trades.
    • The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) that gives students who have completed Grade 10 the chance to explore the trades through co-operative education courses. The government is supporting OYAP with a $21.1 million investment to help more students across the province gain exposure to the skilled trades by accumulating hours toward an apprenticeship while completing their OSSD.
    • Co-operative Education courses provide opportunities for secondary school students to connect classroom learning with work placements to explore possible career choices.
  • A record number of nurses have registered to work in Ontario with over 17,000 registrations in 2023 and another 30,000 nurses currently studying at Ontario colleges and universities. Since 2018, 80,000 nurses have been added to the health care system.
  • Visit Careers in Health Care to learn about building a rewarding career in health care and supports that are available.
  • To further support getting more workers into the health care sector (particularly long-term care homes and community care), the Ministry of Long-Term Care will waive or reimburse fees for individuals who enroll in a personal support worker (PSW) training program run by a local school board. This incentive is running for three years starting in April 2023. 
  • It is projected that by 2026, approximately one in six job openings in Ontario will be in the skilled trades.
  • Starting with students entering Grade 9 in September 2024, all students will be required to earn a Grade 9 or 10 Technological Education credit as part of their OSSD.
  • Apprenticeship registrations increased by 24% in 2023, from 21,971 to 27,319.
  • In total, there were 91,634 apprentices active in Ontario as of April 3, 2023.

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