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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Working for Workers in Milton

MILTON — The Ontario government is investing over $7.3 million through the Skills Development Fund (SDF) toward three free training projects in Milton to help more than 700 workers and jobseekers prepare for in-demand careers in the skilled trades. This brings Ontario’s total investment in Milton training projects through the fund to over $20 million.

“As Milton’s population grows four times faster than the provincial average, our government is working with labour and industry partners to open up new training and apprenticeship opportunities for local workers and jobseekers,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “The projects that we’re supporting today showcase the diverse careers in Ontario’s 144 skilled trades: from welding to landscaping to working with animals, the skilled trades offer well-paying, highly in-demand, meaningful careers for hardworking Ontarians.”

The Ontario government is partnering with industry to deliver free training programs, including:

  • Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association: $4,424,140 is committed for the GROW & Apprenticeship training program to attract, recruit, and train new and young workers in the landscape and horticultural sector. The GROW & Apprenticeship program has prepared 298 people for rewarding careers in horticulture and landscaping since 2022.

  • Ontario Harness Horse Association: $2,404,000 to deliver the Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program which will offer skills training and paid job placement opportunities.

  • CWB Group-Industry Services: $551,000 to deliver a welder training program for underrepresented groups, including women, youth, newcomers, people with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples.

This investment is part of the government’s more than $1.5 billion Skilled Trades Strategy to create training opportunities with labour and industry partners, connect jobseekers with employers, and help more Ontarians land a better job with a bigger paycheque. This includes giving young people the opportunity to gain hands-on apprenticeship training while completing their secondary school diploma through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), enabling them to earn an accelerated path to rewarding, high-paying careers. Thanks to OYAP funding and in partnership with school boards like Halton District School Board, students at seven Milton schools have access to the program.

Since its launch in 2021, Ontario’s Skills Development Fund has helped connect more than half a million jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. As announced in 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario, the Ontario government is investing an additional $100 million through the SDF to grow the trades workforce and build Ontario, bringing Ontario’s total SDF investment to nearly $1 billion.

Quick Facts

  • So far, the Skills Development Fund Training Stream has supported over 600 training projects across the province.

  • There were nearly 107,500 jobs recently going unfilled in the Greater Toronto Area, and nearly 214,000 jobs were recently going unfilled across the province.

  • The population in Milton grew by 20.7 per cent between 2016 and 2021, compared to the provincial average of 5.8 per cent.

  • People interested in participating in the programs announced today are encouraged to contact the lead organizations of the projects directly.

  • The Skills Development Fund Training Stream is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


"Thank you Premier Ford and Minister Piccini for investing in these three local training programs to empower 700 local workers to develop skills for in-demand careers and secure meaningful employment. By bolstering the skilled trades, we are creating well-paying jobs for local jobseekers, driving Milton’s economic prosperity, and building the infrastructure needed to support our growing population."

- Gordon Krantz

Mayor of the Town of Milton

"Today's announcement is wonderful news for the Ontario equine agricultural industry. We commend Premier Doug Ford and the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, David Piccini, for recognizing and supporting this vital sector, a key economic driver in rural Ontario. This strategic investment will support the Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program (OEEEP) and our mission to educate and train new workers throughout the province. Together with our community partners, OEEEP will be laser-focussed on ensuring qualified candidates are available to fill labour shortages throughout this multi-billion dollar agricultural industry."

- James Whelan

President Ontario Harness Horse Association / Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program

"It’s because of the Skills Development Fund training grant that we're able to inspire people of all walks of life to enter the landscape horticulture trades and help them accelerate their outdoor career. These are meaningful, purposeful and well-paying careers that can truly make a difference to our environment and the quality of life in communities across Ontario."

- Joe Salemi

Executive Director, Landscape Ontario Horticulture Trades Association

"Thanks to the generous support of Premier Doug Ford and Minister Piccini, the Welder Competency Assessment and Skills Training (WCAST) program will provide full-cycle support to newcomers and other underrepresented groups in their pursuit of a career in the welding and joining industry in Ontario. WCAST expands on the success of the CWB Group’s Welder Competency and Credential Assessment (WCCA) program by not only assessing an applicant’s knowledge in welding against Canadian standards, but also providing them the learning and training opportunities required for their targeted needs. This program will help address the labour needs of Ontario’s welding industry, while also providing meaningful opportunities for newcomers and other individuals in the province."

- Doug Luciani

President and CEO, CWB Group

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