LONDON — The Ontario government has announced spending of $4 million on six projects to support the recruitment, training and mental health of construction workers across the province.
The projects form part of Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario programming, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton stated in London, Ont. on June 21.
The six projects are:
- A pre-apprenticeship program for 460 workers to learn about rodworking typically used in transit and light rail bridge construction. The Ontario Ironworkers District Council will provide two weeks of in-class training and an eight-week work placement. Training will be available in Ottawa, Toronto, Sudbury, Hamilton and Windsor. Those who successfully complete the program will be registered and employed as apprentices.
- The Tomorrow’s Trades project to introduce 96 underrepresented youth to the skilled trades in Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Sudbury. The project will include 12 weeks of training and a 12-week work placement to learn about becoming carpenters, electrical workers, pipe trades, sheet metal workers and ironworkers. Upon completion, participants can enter a union-sponsored apprenticeship.
- A new Building and Construction Tradeswomen project to attract more women to the trades through marketing and free training.
- Support for Ironworkers Local 759 in Thunder Bay to purchase equipment used in training, testing and certifying 140 apprentices and journeypersons.
- The development of an online learning system for those interested in the construction trades to build skills they can apply to apprenticeships in construction.
- A research project at the De Novo Treatment Centre in Huntsville to provide support for addiction and suicide issues in the construction industry. The project will develop a report and create tools for training centres, unions and employers to better understand and address mental health.
The funding is being allocated from the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund.
“Construction workers make our dreams come to life – it’s on their backs that we have the homes our families live in, the schools where we learn, and the hospitals and health care centres that have been crucial to us over the last 18 months,” said McNaughton in a release. “We need to take care of these talented workers by giving them what they need to build with confidence and vision, while training our future generation for these in-demand jobs.”
“This investment will encourage young people from diverse and underprivileged backgrounds to join the construction trades, support mental health for our construction workers, deliver cutting-edge skills training to thousands of workers across the province, and help attract and retain more women in construction,” stated Building Trades business manager Patrick Dillon.