TORONTO — BOLT, Ontario’s construction youth opportunities organization, recently announced it has received $350,000 from the second round of the provincial government’s Skills Development Fund to expand its Job Shadowing program.
BOLT hosted Ontario Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton at an Options for Homes residential construction site in Toronto where the announcement was made.
BOLT – Building Opportunities for Life Today – was established as a registered charity in 2013 with a mandate to help under-resourced youth in low-income communities in the GTA access education, training and employment opportunities in the construction industry. The Job Shadowing program allows participants to observe and learn from up to 10 different skilled trades and managers.
“BOLT’s Job Shadowing program is eye-opening for youth participants as they get to discover the many different careers available in the construction industry, some they may not have known existed,” said Raly Chakarova, executive director of the BOLT Foundation, in a statement. “Much of hiring in the skilled trades is still informal so a big benefit of the program is connecting job-ready youth directly to employers, most of which are facing growing labour shortages. That helps to reduce employer’s administrative burden and time spent on recruitment, while diversifying their labour force and promoting inclusive hiring.”
The program is open to youth 17 to 29 years old in the GTA who are facing barriers to training and employment. The participants receive industry-required safety training, PPE, a stipend, travel subsidy and financial support for any follow-up employability training.