NORTH BAY, ONT. — Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton visited three Ontario colleges recently to announce pre-apprenticeship funding for select skilled-trades training programs.
McNaughton was at Sheridan College in Brampton Jan. 31, Conestoga College in Kitchener-Waterloo the same day and Canadore College in North Bay Feb. 3.
In North Bay, the ministry will spend $600,000 to help train pre-apprenticeship general-carpenter, electrical-trade and machine-operator students at Canadore as well as other trades. The machine-operator training funding for the local manufacturing sector will come through an Ontario SkillsAdvance Partnership between Canadore, Yes Employment Services and eight local employers.
At Conestoga, the government is spending $750,000 to fund three pre-apprenticeship training programs for 60 young people to get started in trades such as industrial mechanic millwright, truck and coach technician, and cabinetmaker.
In Brampton, $560,000 will be allocated to Sheridan College’s general-machinist and industrial-mechanic-millwright pre-apprenticeship programs to create placements for an additional 50 students.
In addition to the pre-apprenticeship funding, the government also funds in-class training to apprentices in trades. At Kitchener-Waterloo, $9.2 million will be spent through Conestoga College to provide in-class training to 6,200 apprentices in 21 trades in 2020-21. The increase of $1 million over last year will help an extra 632 people prepare for jobs, a release noted.
Training will occur in four locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Cambridge.
“In North Bay and throughout the Northeast Ontario Economic Region, more than 7,700 jobs go unfilled every day,” said McNaughton in a release. “Those are paycheques waiting to be collected. But the workers aren’t there. My mission is to fix this problem, in part by providing funding for more people to prepare for these exciting, fulfilling careers. Today’s announcement is a good next step.”
The Province plans to spend $20.8 million on its Pre-Apprenticeship program this year, an increase of $5 million from the previous year, providing training to 1,800 people. Training is delivered by Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres and other community organizations.
The government also recently announced $12.7 million in funding for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, aimed at encouraging more high school students to consider the skilled trades as a career.
“About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations,” said McNaughton. “Exposing people to careers in the skilled trades and getting them the in-class training they need makes good sense: It helps businesses find talent and opens the doors for people who want to work.”