Ontario launches free online workshops to help newcomers find skilled trades jobs

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 Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is spending over $900,000 to connect 900 new immigrants across the province with well-paying jobs as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, welders, chefs and other in-demand trades.

Through the free, virtual workshops, newcomers will receive training and job connections needed to enter rewarding careers. Details were announced last week by Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development at the YMCA/YWCA of the National Capital Region in Ottawa.

“Across the province, we continue to hear from businesses in the skilled trades who can’t find the workers they need to grow,” said McNaughton. “These are bigger paycheques waiting for hardworking people to collect them. This program will connect newcomers with the training and support they need to fill these good local jobs and build better communities.”

Organized by the YMCA/YWCA, the workshops are available in Ottawa, Toronto, and other Ontario cities until the end of February 2022 and participants can access their online workshop on any electronic device.

Through the workshops, newcomers will learn how to find an apprenticeship, what employers look for when hiring and how to get a Trades Equivalency Assessment.

“There is a growing demand for skilled and trade workers in Ontario. Training new immigrants in skilled trades like welding, carpentry and mechanics creates opportunities for newcomers to fill the need in the skilled job market. This funding will go a long way in supporting the YMCA/YWCA in this initiative,” said Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari.

Outreach workers are being hired by the YMCA/YWCA to promote connections between newcomers, employers, and local employment service centres. These additional resources will allow them to better connect local job seekers to in-demand careers in the skilled trades.

“We are thrilled to be leading the Ontario Newcomer Trades Action Project in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development,” said Bob Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA-YWCA in the National Capital Region. “By scaling this project to five Y’s across the Province, and targeting three main stakeholder groups – employers in the sector, service providers, and newcomers – we will improve access to apprenticeship training and employment across Ontario.”

This funding is part of Ontario’s over $200 million investment in the Skills Development Fund, an initiative to address challenges employers face in hiring, training and retraining workers and apprentices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Newcomers to Kanata and West Carleton bring so much talent to our community. Minister McNaughton continues to bring forward innovative programs that will ensure that high demand and skilled jobs are filled by connecting the right people to the right opportunities,” said Kanata-Carleton MPP Merrilee Fullerton.

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