Program will provide in-demand skills training to over 15,000 workers in industries including construction, horticulture

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is providing $37 million to help more than 15,000 people train for new jobs and upgrade their skills to enable them to contribute to the province’s economic recovery.

Funding will support 86 projects in high-demand skills including construction, information technology, advanced manufacturing, truck driving, and horticulture with internships and other hands-on learning experiences.

In most cases, the training is provided at no charge.

“As part of our government’s made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery, we are making multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investments in transit, highway, and broadband projects,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“To get the job done, we need to train as many electricians, welders, carpenters, and other skilled workers as we can. Today’s investment will ensure we have the right people rebuilding our province and contributing to our long-term success.”

Some of the skills training projects receiving funding include:

  • The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario will receive $450,000 to support women in the trades and for health and safety training.
  • Roland Gossage Foundation will receive $500,000 for their Soldiers in Tech project to help up to 45 veterans train for careers in web development and technology.
  • The Ford Motor Company of Canada in Oakville will receive more than $954,000 to create up to 244 co-op learning spots to give college and university students practical, hands-on experience for careers in manufacturing, vehicle connectivity and business operations.
  • The Greenhouse Academy in Thorndale will receive $440,000 to train secondary students about how to grow plants, prepare seedlings for reforestation projects, and gain real workplace and business experience.

Details were provided last week by Ford, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton, Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and members of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.

The announcement was made at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 105 Training Centre in Hamilton.

“Jobs change lives. Whether you’re a student, a graduate or a mid-career worker, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to upgrade their skills, gain practical hands-on experience and find a good job,” said Minister McNaughton. “Today’s announcement is an important step forward and a real opportunity to set people down the path to new in-demand careers.”

The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario consists of 12 international craft unions in the construction industry with a total membership of about 150,000, with union locals in both urban and remote regions of Ontario.

Women represent 4 per cent of all active apprentices in the industrial, motive power and construction trades combined.

Pre-COVID-19, it was projected that one in five new jobs over the next five years is expected to be in the skilled trades.

“Our government values the workers and businesses that help build Ontario,” said Parliamentary Assistant McKenna. “By providing opportunities for thousands of people to upgrade their skills and train for new jobs, we’re making it easier to build a rewarding and life-changing career in the skilled trades.”

The province expects to finalize agreements with training providers. The full list of successful recipients will be available Sept. 25.

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