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Ontario Construction News staff writer
Proposals are being accepted until March 2022 for the second round of the province’s Skills Development fund, with $83 million available for ground-breaking training projects that upskill workers and prepare job seekers.
Funding includes $334,487 for LIUNA to give 8,000 members of Local 506 as well as construction craft worker apprentices free access to a wide range of online skills and safety courses workers need for their jobs through LinkedIn Learning.
“The Skills Development Fund continues to empower career-building opportunities in the skilled trades by expanding and modernizing apprenticeship training,” said Carmen Principato, LiUNA Local 506 business manager.
“This funding announced by (Labour) Minister (Monte) McNaughton will provide cutting-edge training, working together with labour and industry to meet the growing demand of Ontario’s workforce.”
Interested organizations can apply through Transfer Payment Ontario. Organizations eligible for funding include employment service and training providers, labour, community, business and industry organizations, municipalities, hospitals, Indigenous Band offices, Indigenous skills and employment training agreement holders, service system managers.
Details were released Tuesday by McNaughton at the LiUNA Local 506 Training Centre in Richmond Hill.
“With almost 150 projects so far, the first round of the Skills Development Fund was a tremendous success, helping 260,000 workers and job seekers around the province take the next step in their careers,” McNaughton said.
“However, we know employers are still having difficulty finding the talented workers they need to stay competitive and grow their businesses. That’s why we’ve opened a second round of funding that will be accessible for an even wider range of programs and organizations.”
The province will accept applications from a broader range of organizations including Indigenous skills and employment training centres, Indigenous Band offices, social service administration boards, municipal employment providers, hospitals, and other organizations. It can also be used to cover a wider range of financial supports for trainees, including expenses for transit and childcare.
Apprentices and workers who want to participate in LiUNA Local 506’s projects can contact Merissa Preston, Partnership and Business Development at LiUNA Local 506, at Mpreston@506tc.org.
“LiUNA’s industry leading training is a gateway to building prosperous careers throughout the construction industry,” said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA international vice-president and regional manager of Central and Eastern Canada.
“With the continued support of Minister McNaughton and the Skills Development Fund, we continue to upgrade innovative training and marketing programs to expand outreach and recruitment, modernize the skilled trades and ensure that Ontario’s workforce is safe and job ready as they remain at the forefront of community building.”
Organizations can also receive funding to accommodate trainees and workers with disabilities, including travel costs for people who require mobility support, including site-to-site job travel for both participants and support persons.
Employers can receive up to $5,000 per job placement if they support a trainee with a disability. Project proposals will be given special consideration if they can clearly show how they will support postsecondary and high school graduates with disabilities or those experiencing mental health challenges.