Ontario funds apprenticeships for electricians to combat shortage

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government has earmarked more than $13 million to provide free training and paid apprenticeships for future electricians. More than 2,500 people are expected to be impacted across the province.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says there are more than $2 billion in infrastructure projects on the horizon and funding will address a shortage of electricians and other skilled trades workers.

monte mcnaughton with trainees“When you have a job as an electrician, you have an in-demand job for life,” McNaughton said. “I continue to hear from students and parents who don’t know how to enter this incredible field, which can pay over $50 an hour.

“That’s why our government is investing over $1.5 billion in programs like this, which break down barriers and connect young people to life-changing careers in the skilled trades.”

Funded programs include:

Ontario Electrical Industry Training Trust Fund

$6,447,553 for two projects aimed at increasing apprenticeship registrations for network cabling specialist (631A) apprenticeship program, and to encourage more employers to hire apprentices and promote the electrical trades to underrepresented populations.

National Electrical Trade Council

$4,191,322for two projects to help the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) upskill 1,050 electricians across the province.

The first project provides access to electric vehicle charging stations for certified electricians (309A) and late term apprentices at all IBEW training centres across Ontario.

The second project will allow IBEW training centres to deliver virtual reality training to electrical apprentices and journeypersons and is set to begin in the Spring 2022.

More information is available here.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local Union 1687)

$467,500 to provide online skills training to 625 registered apprentices in remote Northern regions, including First Nations communities.

Training started in February 2022 and is ongoing. For more information, contact Travis Merrett at 705-566-1687 or info@ibew1687.org.

IBEW Local 105

$303,015 to the IBEW Local 105 in Hamilton to train 40 electricians through the Welding Recruitment and Retention Program.

Participants will spend 12 weeks in training to become welders, including the ability to pass a CWB 4 position welding certificate. Training will increase participants skill sets from 309A electrical license into a dual ticketed 309A Electrician/SMAW welder. Training will also include in-field placements on welder projects.

The program is open to current IBEW local 105 journeypersons who would like to obtain their 4 position CWB certificate.

To apply, contact training director  Theo Davis at tdavis@ibewlu105.com.

IBEW Local 120

$1,186,356 to train 150 people in the electrical trades in the Chippewas of the Thames and Munsee-Delaware First Nations.

$421,923 for a project that will provide advanced training and continuing education to 260 registered apprentices or journeypersons on emerging technologies in the electrical trade.

IIBEW Local Union 402 Thunder Bay

$230,213 to provide free training and paid work placements to underrepresented groups to address the skills shortage in the electrical industry.

Twelve participants received sixteen weeks of free training and job placements through the program, which ran from June 2021 to March 2022.


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