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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Providing Free Training for Construction Workers

VAUGHAN — The Ontario government is investing $3.6 million to support three innovative projects to help over 2,200 women and young people across Ontario prepare for meaningful and well-paying careers in the construction trades. Led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), these free programs will focus on increasing female participation in the industry, providing online training tools and exclusive employment opportunities to jobseekers, and giving grade 12 students a first-hand look at life-changing careers in construction.


"Starting in 2024, every student will take at least one Technological Education course, creating pathways to good jobs for every student that wants one, said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are working together to ensure skilled trades learning in the classroom leads to good-paying jobs across our economy."

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to invest in training programs that spread life-changing opportunity to anyone who wants a hand up to a bigger paycheque and a better life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “We are proud to support these new projects that help women and young people enter the trades and find purpose-driven careers.”


Women make up less than five per cent of Ontario’s construction workforce, meaning many are missing out on a lucrative and in-demand sector. That is why the first PBCTO project will help 700 tradeswomen gain the leadership, communications, health and safety training, and networking opportunities they need to start and advance rewarding careers in the industry. It will also include the development of a speaker’s bureau to partner tradeswomen with speaking opportunities with schools, employment agencies, trade shows and other events across the province to mentor and attract more women into the skilled trades.


“The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario appreciates the support of the Government of Ontario to invest in and expand three important projects with the organized skilled trades and our employer partners,” said Marc Arsenault, Business Manager at PBCTCO. “These projects, while all unique, together focus on developing the workforce of the future and expanding opportunities within the skilled trades for equity-seeking groups. As we move forward, this investment supports a fact-based approach to workforce development that will create opportunities for more Ontarians to embark on a great career to build the province we live in.”


The second project will provide 1,500 people with access to online resources and training tools where they can explore the skilled trades, build core skills and find apprenticeship opportunities in their profession of choice, connecting them directly with local employers. People interested in learning more about unionized career opportunities in the skilled trades can visit www.ctaontario.ca/explore for more information.


Additionally, PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trades program is returning to provide 60 grade 12 students in London and Ottawa with hands-on learning opportunities, behind-the-scenes access to high-profile construction projects and training so they can prepare for life-changing jobs in the industry.


These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, an over $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.

QUICK FACTS


  • Tradeswomen interested in PBCTCO’s programs can apply on www.OBCTradeswomen.com.

  • For more information on the Tomorrow’s trades program, visit https://www.tomorrowstrades.ca/.

  • New this year, the Tomorrow’s Trades program is also responding to the current and future needs of the industry by developing a forecasting program to project the number of skilled trades workers needed for all major construction and maintenance projects across Ontario. It will improve the program’s ability to stream young people into high-demand skilled trades opportunities by region.

  • Through its first three funding rounds, the Skills Development Fund has supported 596 projects, aiming to help almost 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.

  • The Ontario government launched the new $224 million capital stream for the Skills Development Fund on June 30 to support the building of new training centres and the renovation or expansion of existing ones.

  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

  • To help deliver the province’s ambitious infrastructure plans, including building 1.5 million homes by 2031, Ontario will need over 100,000 new skilled trades workers this decade.


QUOTES:

"Our province - and my Riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore - are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to managing the significant economic and population growth most experts expect for Ontario in the years to come. Chief among them are the housing crisis and a corresponding shortage of skilled labour. Today's announcement will go a long way toward addressing both, by opening new opportunities for young people in new home construction, while increasing the participation of young women in a field in which they have traditionally been under-represented."

- Christine Hogarth MPP of Etobicoke-Lakeshore


"UA Local 787 HVACR is excited to support Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton as they announce investments to facilitate training for thousands of more workers. Working with PBCTCO, these youth will encounter meaningful training opportunities that get them ready for building our communities and Ontario's economy."

- Andrew Tarr Business Manager, HVACR 787


"This support for apprenticeship training is long overdue and a great way to open the door to meaningful careers and long-term financial security for more young people, new Canadians, women and Indigenous people."

- Mike Gallagher Business Manager, IUOE Local 793


"The Ontario Government’s commitment to promoting careers within the trades is once again evident from today’s announcement and their willingness to invest in developing the workforce that will be needed to build and to service our province. The support provided through the Skills Development Fund comes at a perfect time as we continue to grow economic opportunities for those interested in learning a trade."

- Jonathan White International Representative - CSO, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers


"On behalf of LiUNA, we applaud the continued collaboration and commitment of Minister McNaughton and the Ford Government to empower opportunities for women in skilled trades. We look forward to working together with industry, labour and government partners to not only attract women to the industry through outreach and training programs, but working together to strengthen retention, mentorship and pathways for advancement."


- Victoria Mancinelli LiUNA Director Public Relations, Marketing, Strategic Partnerships


"The IBEW Construction Council of Ontario applauds Premier Ford’s and Minister McNaughton’s genuine efforts to support and grow Ontario’s unionized construction labour force. A stronger construction labour force with good enforcement, salaries, pensions, and benefits is good for Ontario."

- James Barry Executive Secretary Treasurer, IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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