The Ontario government has announced a $20.8 million investment in the province’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program to attract more people to the trades.
In 2019, the government will increase spending on the program $2.5 million, connecting an additional 200 people to potential jobs. The program is free for participants, lasts up to one year and always includes a work placement, often combined with classroom training.
“Ontario’s economy is facing a looming problem: a shortage of workers in the trades,” says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “We need to find additional ways to let young people and their parents know that a career in the trades is exciting, fulfilling and profitable. We have to erase the stigma and let people know that these are well-paying jobs.”
The announcement took place at Building Up, a Toronto non-profit that helps youth at risk get construction trades training while also creating affordable housing. Building Up will be training 33 youth in their pre-apprenticeship program this year.
In total, the government will invest $20.8 million into the program to help introduce over 1,800 people to the skilled trades.
In the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario will fund 28 projects for over 600 people to get training in a variety of trades such as CNC programmer, millwright, instrumentation and control technician, machine tool builder, tool inspector and welder.
The program is delivered by Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres and other community organizations. There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
“I’m proud of our 24 publicly funded colleges and the work they do to train 81 per cent of apprentices in Ontario,” says Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities. “We’re not just building skills and capacity, we’re investing in people and their potential.”
“Our government is increasing support for pre-apprenticeship training programs, because exposing people to careers in the skilled trades will make a difference in their lives and in our economy,” says McNaughton. “With this expanded investment, we’re opening a new pipeline of young workers.”
The pre-apprenticeship program promotes careers in the trades for all Ontario residents, including youth at risk, new Canadians, women and Indigenous people.
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