HAMILTON, ONT. — Up to 150 people will be trained for jobs in the construction sector in Hamilton, Ont. thanks to a funding initiative from the Ontario budget.
As part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, the program will train environmental engineers, surveyors, civil engineers and general managers. Funding is being provided through the government’s $115 million Skills Development Fund. The investment will also help employers reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining workers and apprentices as well as address the challenges brought on by COVID-19, including the expected shortage of construction workers.
The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering is among the first applications approved through the fund. In partnership with McMaster University, they will develop a Sustainable Infrastructure Training Program, a new certificate program that will provide training and resources to prepare future technologists and engineers in the construction sector to design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure, states a release.
To help workers get the training they need, the government’s 2021 budget is proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit that would deliver support for 2021, the release indicates, adding the credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses.
More than 500 applications were received for the Skills Development Fund in the first month of the program and a second application round is being planned for this spring.
“Our government launched the Skills Development Fund to generate innovative solutions to get Ontario back to work and ensure businesses have access to the qualified people they need to recover from the pandemic,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, in a statement. “Through our new program in Hamilton, participants will learn world-leading best practices while gaining the critical skills and knowledge they need to fill in-demand jobs and support economic growth in the province.”