Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government will invest an additional $3.5 million in Skills Ontario for the 2020-2021 school year to help the organization promote the skilled trades, Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced last week. This is in addition to $1.5 million in new funding the government provided earlier this year to support outreach and promotion to youth, educators, and parents, bringing the total investment to $5 million, Skills Ontario said in a statement.
“As Ontario carefully reopens, the skilled trades are an essential part of the recovery and future of our economy,” McNaughton said at the Skills Ontario Virtual Skills Summit at the end of June. “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.”
“On behalf of Skills Ontario, we thank Minister McNaughton and the Government of Ontario for their tremendous support of our efforts,” says Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft.
“Our objective is to connect education, experience, and employment for youth so that they can be aware of, explore and pursue the incredible opportunities in the skilled trades and technologies. We are grateful for the increased support from the Ontario government, and look forward to continuing to deliver programs to help strengthen our economy and secure our future. The pandemic has underscored the importance of skills and technology careers, and they will help lead us out of our economic challenges”.
The additional government funding “will go towards reaching youth, educators, and parents to present the skilled trades as the viable, first-choice career options they are,” the Skills Ontario statement said.
For more than 3- years, Skills Ontario has offered initiatives to bring experiential learning and mentorship together. In an effort to encourage youth all across the province to consider the pathways in the skilled trades and technologies, Skills Ontario organizes workshops, events, and activities. The organization also offers specialized programs for Young Women and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth in an effort to build and support a strong and diverse skilled workforce.