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Indigenous program aims to combat trades shortage

DCN News Services
Indigenous program aims to combat trades shortage

TORONTO — The provincial government is launching a new Northern Ontario Internship Program to create more opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.

By removing the requirement that applicants be recent university or college graduates, Ontario is supporting a wider variety of internships, including skilled trades, and addressing the unique needs of other in-demand jobs throughout the region, states a release issued by the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, adding program candidates will now include new entrants into the workforce, those transitioning to a new career, the unemployed and underemployed.

The new program will have two funding streams:

  • The Northern Ontario Indigenous Internships Stream highlights the importance of the north’s Indigenous population to the region’s economy and workforce while providing employers with greater incentive to offer Indigenous internship opportunities; and
  • The Northern Ontario Skilled Labour Internships Stream places an enhanced focus on skills shortages in areas such as the skilled trades and provides apprentices with the ability to attend required training throughout their placement.

“Changes to the internship program ensure our government is well-positioned to assist northern employers in providing work experience to a broader range of interns,” said Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and minister of Indigenous affairs, in a statement. “We are removing barriers to participation in the Northern Ontario Internship Program so that more organizations can provide on-the-job career development and address skilled labour shortages.”

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