- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Providing Free Training for Auto Workers
LONDON — The Ontario government is investing more than $4.7 million to support two innovative projects to help over 360 people land full-time jobs in the province’s growing automotive manufacturing sector. These free programs will provide participants with skills for rewarding careers in machine operation, assembly, quality control, and logistics while also preparing automotive technicians and those interested in the industry for work in the emerging electric vehicle field.
“These new programs will not only provide people with opportunities for good-paying jobs and rewarding careers, but they’ll also help support our growing auto industry,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re securing the future of our province’s auto sector, attracting billions of dollars in new investments for electric vehicle and battery production and ensuring the cars of the future are built right here in Ontario, by Ontario workers.”
The first project, managed by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA), will include three-month paid job placements through their network of more than 300 members. Jobseekers, including those from underrepresented groups, will complete online and hands-on training focused on manufacturing essentials, health and safety, effective oral communication, planning, troubleshooting and other critical industry skills. After completing the program, each participant will transition into full-time employment.
“Careers in the auto sector are meaningful, well-paying, and for many people, offer a path to a better life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government will continue to invest in innovative training programs that help people gain the skills they need to land life-changing jobs so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”
The second project, managed by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), will help 90 technicians and 70 jobseekers gain the skills needed to transition and launch their careers in the electric vehicle industry. Training will be offered at Conestoga College (Guelph Campus), Fanshawe College (London Campus) and St. Lawrence College (Cornwall Campus) and will consist of in-person classroom and shop components.
“As the automotive sector continues to face labour shortages, partnerships like the Skills Development Fund allow us to focus on building new talent,” said Flavio Volpe, President of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association. “Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, we are able to support employers in their efforts to access, train and retain meaningful employment for new hires who may have been historically excluded from these careers.”
These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, a $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.
"Getting our workers the skills they need and more people into the automotive trades is essential,” said Jean-François Champagne, President of the Automotive Industries Association Of Canada. “Automotive tradespeople provide Ontarians with essential vehicle repair and maintenance services that keep Ontario’s more than nine million vehicles in road-safe condition. AIA Canada looks forward to continued collaboration with the Ontario government and our post-secondary partners to ensure the industry is ready to service the vehicles of both today and tomorrow."
Over the last two and a half years, Ontario has attracted over $25 billion in automotive and EV battery-related investments, including a $7 billion investment from Volkswagen to build their first overseas EV battery manufacturing facility in St. Thomas.
For more information on the APMA project, visit APMA.ca/DEI.
Those interested in the AIA project can get more information at ev-training.ca.
Canada’s auto sector supports nearly 500,000 workers, contributes $16 billion annually to the gross domestic product, and is one of the country’s largest export industries.
Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build their vehicles, including Honda, Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
Through its first three funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 595 projects aiming to help almost 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.
The Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
"Ontario continues to lead the nation in job creation, with over 650,000 jobs added since 2018. This investment through the Skills Development Fund will build on this success and ensure that more people land career-defining jobs in our growing automotive sector. The cars of the future will be built in Ontario by Ontario workers."
- Vic Fedeli Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
"This $4.7 million investment is another important step to support Ontario’s world class auto sector. It will place more than 360 future auto workers in the fast lane to a rewarding career and is another example of Premier Ford’s determination to support all aspects of the auto sector – including the technicians of the future. Ontario’s 1,100 new car, franchised retailers view this announcement as key to addressing Ontario’s skilled labour shortage."
- Frank Notte Director of Government Relations, Motor Vehicle Retailers of Ontario
"Historic investments in our electric vehicle supply chain are driving a long-awaited manufacturing renaissance, but without the right upskilling programs to get the workers we need, our local companies will run out of steam. CME salutes Ontario’s funding commitment through the Skills Development Fund, which will help meet workers where they are in their career path and connect them to a rewarding future in automotive."
- Dennis Darby President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters