Ontario Investing in New Resources for Construction Sector
July 29, 2021
MISSISSAUGA— The Ontario government is investing over $3 million to create a virtual training hub that will help construction supervisors learn the skills they need to mentor and train their team. The funding will also go toward the creation of an online job bank that will help up to 200 laid-off and unemployed workers find good jobs in construction. “Construction workers build the houses we call home, the hospitals that care for us and the communities where we come together,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “There is a growing demand for these skilled workers and our government is proud to invest helping more workers start and build their careers in this in-demand sector.” This initiative will support Merit Ontario, an organization that supports contractors who employ both unionized and non-unionized workers, in developing and running a virtual training and resource hub that helps 225 small, medium and large construction companies bring their training programs online. The hub will also offer courses and resources to train supervisors so they can provide improved skills and safety training for their workers. "On behalf of the hundreds of Merit Ontario members and thousands of employees in the construction sector across Ontario, we thank the Government of Ontario and Minister McNaughton for this historic investment in training,” said Mike Gallardo, President and CEO of Merit Ontario. “This funding will ensure that underrepresented communities can fully participate in training and be part of the jobs of the future. Jobs in the construction sector are in high demand and we must do everything we can as employers and governments to ensure we can meet that demand. This funding will go a long way in meeting that goal.” In addition, the project will create an online job bank where employers who are looking for new talent in the construction sector will be able to post job ads. The job bank will also help job seekers assess their skills and recommend additional training where needed. This funding is part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project runs until June 30, 2022. Interested construction employers, apprenticeship sponsors and apprentices from across Ontario can apply for the new program at http://www.meritontario.com.
According to Statistics Canada, more than 500,000 people were employed in construction in Ontario in 2020.
Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
In the first quarter of 2021, there were 13,380 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, up from 11,075 in the first quarter of 2020.
Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
"My passion for safety began when a workplace incident with father’s company happened – I believe that I can make a difference in the trades and help to positively influence construction safety. Construction Ontario to me is an investment by the Ontario Government to help ensure the construction firms and their workers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide and maintain a safe working environment, deliver high quality projects on time and in turn showcase that careers in the trades are important, necessary, lucrative and something to be proud of for future generations." - David Prazeres Health and Safety Coordinator, Mattina Mechanical Limited