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Skills Ontario and ORIGIN sign MOU to promote skilled trade and tech careers, provide employability skill-building opportunities through ImmersiveLink Virtual Reality

Press Release

Ontario (February 5, 2020) – Skills Ontario and ORIGIN are working together to harness the power of Virtual Reality technology to help youth see skilled trade and technology careers in a new way.

The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to join forces on an initiative to encourage youth to consider skilled trade and technology careers across the province by connecting education, experience, and employment through Virtual Reality.

ORIGIN has contributed 45 Virtual Reality headsets to Skills Ontario to utilize their ImmersiveLink system as a part of school outreach. ORIGIN is the creator of ImmersiveLink; a platform providing compelling, real-life experiences, to promote and create career connections in targeted sectors, including skilled trades, using stand-alone Virtual Reality headsets. The Skills Ontario and ORIGIN partnership will reach audiences across Ontario, including Indigenous communities, and will present learning opportunities to youth through a fascinating lens.

“We are thrilled to partner with ORIGIN,” says Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “With this MOU, the students we reach across Ontario will gain the opportunity to view the skilled trades and technologies through a compelling, experiential approach. We are thankful to ORIGIN for their affiliation with Skills Ontario, and are looking forward to the many ways this partnership will benefit youth across the province.”

“Our goal in working with Skills Ontario is focusing on promoting and increasing participation in trades. It is a priority we are excited about fulfilling together and a strong shared vision that is sure to lead to our success. As an Indigenous owned firm, it is a high priority for us to work together to increase participation levels of Indigenous peoples in the skilled trades. Miigwech Skills Ontario for starting this journey with us,” says Melissa Hardy-Giles, owner of ORIGIN.

About Skills Ontario – Promoting skilled trades and technologies in Ontario since 1989

Over the last 30 years, Skills Ontario has been growing a portfolio of programs including in-school presentations reaching 125,000 students across Ontario, career exploration summer camps, Young Women’s and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Career Exploration Conferences, and annually hosting Canada’s largest skills competition which attracts 37,000+ spectators who cheerlead the 2,400+ competitors in 68+ trades and tech categories. To see how you can partner with Skills Ontario and help make a difference in the lives of Ontario’s youth, visit


At ORIGIN, we are proponents of the pursuit of purpose, significance and satisfaction, innovating the way people connect to career and culture. Our mission is to build innovative solutions to advance processes by which people connect to career and culture and to improve access to employment opportunity for Indigenous people, in the spirit of economic reconciliation, across Canada.

Media Contacts:
Emina Jakupović
Manager of Communications, Skills Ontario
519 749 9899 x 221
[email protected]

Ian Howcroft
Chief Executive Officer, Skills Ontario
519 749 9899 x 229
[email protected]

Melissa Hardy-Giles
Owner of ORIGIN
807 252 1790
[email protected]


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