Ontario Construction News staff writer
Canadore College in North Bay is adding plumbing to its program list, with $3.4 million from the provincial government.
Nippissing MPP Vic Fedeli announced the funding on May 2, just as the provincial election campaign was beginning.
“When you have a job in the skilled trades, you have a job, and there is as much merit in plumbing as there is in law, medicine or accounting,” he said. “We were thrilled to see this training program for Canadore College and everyone in North Bay . . . knock down barriers to the skilled trades and fight the stigma, so more young people in Northern Ontario have pathways to these life-changing careers.”
The current wait time for Northern Ontario apprentices in the Plumber 306A trade to attend school is approximately 17 months. Expanding this training to Canadore College means students in North Bay will be able to enter training faster, and local employers will be able to find the apprentices they need to keep up with growing demand, Fedeli said.
There are currently more than 500 people working as plumbers in Northeastern Ontario, where salaries can average over $65,000 a year. However, local employers continue to face a shortage of qualified apprentices, and demand for these workers is expected to increase.
“We need to act now to help train the next generation of mechanics, welders, and heavy equipment operators,” said labor minister Monte McNaughton.
for the plumbing 306A curriculum, and the college has extensive experience delivering the Mechanical Techniques-Plumbing program.