Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government has increased annual spending on pre-apprenticeship programs to $28 million, up $5 million.
The government has started negotiations with over 52 training organizations to expand 98 pre-apprenticeship projects for current and future tradespeople.
“This government’s ongoing support of the skilled trades has been and continues to be a vital investment in Ontario’s future,” said David Stubbs, executive director, Ontario Masonry Training Centre.
“We are all partners in building a better future. Pre-apprenticeship programs provide an entry into the skilled trades for people with little to no construction background. These training programs, which include paid work placements, can result in well-paying jobs that are in high demand in the masonry industry.”
Pre-apprenticeship training programs are provided free of charge. They combine classroom training with on-the-job learning and are expected to play a crucial role in reducing Ontario’s skilled labour shortage.
“Ontario continues to face a generational labour shortage. To build a stronger Ontario and grow our economy we need all hands on deck. Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of paychecks waiting to be collected,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton.
“That is why our government is making historic investments in innovative programs that upskill workers and connect them to the careers of their dreams, without having to move to a big city.”
Over the coming weeks, the second round of projects under the Skills Development Fund – will be finalized. The initiatives must be designed to connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. The first round last year funded almost 150 projects, including many focused on the skilled trades, and helped about 280,000 people.
“It is essential that we create greater awareness of the skilled trades as a valuable career path for our youth. Programs that support early consideration and opportunities to explore the trades will ensure that we have the workforce of the future that we need,” said Melissa Young, CEO and registrar of Skilled Trades Ontario.