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Ontario Increasing Investments in Skilled Trades

Press Release

Government to Spend Additional $2.5M to Boost Exposure to Good Careers

November 8, 2019

TORONTO — Ontario’s Government is tackling shortages in the skilled trades by announcing $20.8 million in spending to attract more people to the trades and boost Ontario’s skilled workforce.

The Government will increase spending on Ontario’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program by $2.5 million this year, giving an additional 200 people exposure to good jobs. The program is free for participants and always includes a work placement.

“Ontario’s economy is facing a looming problem: a shortage of workers in the trades,” said 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.”

In total, the government will invest $20.8 million into the program to help introduce over 1,800 people to the skilled trades so that they can secure vibrant and in-demand jobs.

In the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario will fund 28 projects for over 600 people to get training in a variety of trades like automotive service technician, arborist, electrician, hairstylist, carpenter, welder, and a number of others.

Some of these important projects include:

  • A new pre-apprenticeship program delivered through the Labour Education Centre and Youth Employment Services (YES), which will provide 36 participants with the skills to become an apprentice in construction sector.
  • A partnership between Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, George Brown College, and Toronto District School Board to provide 15 Indigenous people with 8 weeks of paid work experience in the General Carpenter and/or Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator trades.
  • Skills for Change of Metro Toronto will partner with Humber College to provide 24 women with training to prepare for the Horticultural Technician or Arborist trades as apprentices.

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,” said 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,” said Minister 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.

“We’re leveling the playing field and giving people in Ontario the opportunity to get career-ready, so that we can build a better future for our citizens and for the province,” said Minister McNaughton.

Quick Facts

  • Pre-apprenticeship training programs are publicly-funded, last up to one year, and often combine classroom training with an 8-12 week work placement. To find out about programs in your area, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.
  • About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations.
  • Retirements in the skilled trades are driving the shortage of skilled workers. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years and over.
  • On May 29, 2019, Ontario passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
  • The announcement took place at Building Up, an innovative 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.
Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Bradley Metlin
Minister’s Office
[email protected]

Janet Deline
Communications Branch
[email protected]
416-326-7405

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