Ontario Construction News staff writer
Skills Ontario has issued a statement outlining its budget recommendations to the Ontario Government.
In the statement issued on Monday, the organization says: “The pandemic has underscored the critical role that skilled trades and technology careers play in keeping our economy, our health care system, and our society running as smoothly as possible during these extraordinary times. Meanwhile, the situation has exacerbated an already significant shortage of skilled trades professionals.
“Skills Ontario is offering recommendations to the Government of Ontario for the forthcoming budget, with suggestions to scale up Skills Ontario’s programming, increase commitments to reaching underrepresented groups in skilled trades, and sustain and increase funding to Skills Ontario.”
“By virtue of in-kind and financial support, Skills Ontario is able to offer programming that inspires and encourages youth to pursue skilled trade and technology careers,” the statement says.
“Through the organization’s partnership with the Government of Ontario, Skills Ontario can develop and deliver initiatives to build the province’s future skilled workforce, engaging youth, parents, employers, and more.”
“On behalf of Skills Ontario, we acknowledge and thank the Government of Ontario for its continued support,” says CEO Ian Howcroft. “We are proud to have developed our existing initiatives, as well as created new programming, in response to the sudden shift to the virtual world in light of the pandemic. Looking at our results and feedback, it’s evident that are positively impacting Ontarians, and with today’s proposed recommendations, we hope to continue to play a key role in securing a stronger economy and future.”
“The skilled trades are an essential part of the recovery and future of our economy,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said at the Skills Ontario Virtual Skills Summit on June 30. “We need to continue to promote the skilled trades to young people to give them access to jobs that are fulfilling, meaningful, and well-paid, and to keep the many industries that depend on skilled trades thriving. Skills Ontario does this very well.”
“Skills Ontario provides learning opportunities for youth, ensuring that the province’s future leaders are aware of their pathways so that they can make informed career decisions,” the Skills Ontario statement said. “The organization engages a vast network of key stakeholders in the apprenticeship system and will continue to bring these groups together to provide input and support to help enhance outcomes across the skills ecosystem.”