TORONTO—The Ontario government recently announced it has increased funding for pre-apprenticeship training in the skilled trades to $28 million.
Pre-apprenticeship training programs are free for participants and combine classroom training with on-the-job learning, explained a release. The new funding increases the government’s annual investment in pre-apprenticeship programs by $5 million.
Inquiries in the program can be made through Employment Ontario.
Ontario has also started negotiations with over 50 training organizations to expand 98 pre-apprenticeship projects to accommodate current and future tradespeople. There were 1,790 people enrolled in pre-apprenticeship programs from April 2021 to March 2022.
The ministry also announced it will soon be finalizing the second round of projects under the Skills Development Fund, a $200-million program that links jobseekers with potential employers. The first funding round of the fund last year supported almost 150 projects, many in the skilled trades, with 280,000 participants.
“Ontario continues to face a generational labour shortage. To build a stronger Ontario and grow our economy we need all hands on deck. Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of pay cheques waiting to be collected,” stated Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton in a statement.
“It is essential that we create greater awareness of the skilled trades as a valuable career path for our youth. Programs that support early consideration and opportunities to explore the trades will ensure that we have the workforce of the future that we need,” added Melissa Young, CEO and registrar of Skilled Trades Ontario.