Paying your bills? Now there’s a class for that.

A mandatory course needed to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma will now include financial literacy and an enhanced focus on career pathways, such as apprenticeships in the skilled trades, according to the provincial government.

Grade 10 students in Nipissing and across Ontario will study a revised career studies course. The new course will be implemented in schools this September with what the Ford government calls “a central focus on the jobs of the future.”

“We are focused on preparing students for the vast opportunities of tomorrow. The new Career Studies course will help Nipissing students further explore growth industries, plan their future, and succeed in the real world,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli.

Ontario says it is investing $2.25 million to support school boards with the implementation of revised curricula.

The updated course takes a deeper look at:

  • Financial management and budgeting (including paying bills on time, the value of using credit responsibly, and options to pay for postsecondary education);
  • Careers in high-growth industries such as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines;
  • Social media usage and its implications for students; and
  • Cross-curricula transferable skills such as creativity, collaboration, and technological fluency.

“The old system did not sufficiently support our young people, nor inspire them to consider the jobs of tomorrow,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce (for more from Lecce, see video below). “This transformation will help inspire our students to think big, to aspire for better jobs, and to support the creation of a credible career pathway so they can succeed in a competitive global marketplace.”

“Our mission is to ensure that our young people are better prepared to transition from the journey of learning seamlessly into the workforce,” said Fedeli. “With an emphasis on STEM, financial literacy, and life skills, we are better aligning our curriculum with the labour market, to ensure our young people can optimize their skills and get access to good-paying jobs.”

Following the province’s consultation on education, it says “the course has been updated to reflect public feedback and research. In addition to the new curriculum, the Ministry of Education will also begin work on integrating the seven transferable skills found in the Career Studies course across all curriculum expectations going forward. This work will make it easier for teachers to teach transferable skills and track student progression across grades.”