The Ontario government is expanding its Second Career Training program for workers displaced by globalization, manufacturing losses, and the darkening economic picture.

But former high-tech workers with university degrees face a challenge in accessing these resources, according to Ian Lambert, who has lost his job twice.

Lambert tried to find a more secure career path after seeing more and more tech work moving out of Canada. After applying for more than 200 jobs, the former high-tech executive saw an ad for Ontario's Second Career program.

But he was too qualified for training under the program, which will now accept people laid off since January 2005 or those with interim jobs.

Eligible workers must come from jobs no higher than a Level B national occupations classification, which don't require a university degree.

"The idea behind the second career strategy is to help lower-skilled workers access training that will get them in higher-skilled jobs," said Tricia Gueulette of Northern Lights Canada, which provides assessments for the program.

Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson said 100,000 jobs can be filled through second career training, though part of the puzzle is bringing work to those workers without displacing communities.

But former Renfrew Mayor Audrey Green, who witnessed similar job losses during the 1980s, remains skeptical that such programs are a panacea for hard-hit regions.

"You have to know what's coming to retrain them in it," she said. "There's no sense training them in computers if we're not going to get computers."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua