TORONTO — The Ontario government has announced it is spending $3.6 million on three recruitment projects intended to help 2,200 women and young people start careers in the construction trades.
The free programs are led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.
The first project will help 700 tradeswomen gain leadership, communications and health and safety training, and networking opportunities in the industry, stated a release. The funding will support the development of a speaker’s bureau to send current tradeswomen out to schools, employment agencies, trade shows and other events across the province to mentor and attract more women into the skilled trades.
The second project will provide 1,500 people with access to online resources and training tools where they can learn about the skilled trades, build skills and find apprenticeship opportunities, connecting them with local employers.
Additionally, the Building Trades’ Tomorrow’s Trades program is receiving more funding to provide 60 Grade 12 students in London and Ottawa with in-person access to construction projects and training. The program, which prioritizes at-risk youths, has previously run in Toronto, Hamilton, Sudbury and other parts of the province. Transportation and training costs will be provided for students.
The projects are funded through the government’s $700-million Skills Development Fund.
“These projects, while all unique, together focus on developing the workforce of the future and expanding opportunities within the skilled trades for equity-seeking groups,” said Building Trades business manager Marc Arsenault in a statement. “As we move forward, this investment supports a fact-based approach to workforce development that will create opportunities for more Ontarians to embark on a great career to build the province we live in.”