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Construction sustainability training program coming to Hamilton

Dena Fehir
Construction sustainability training program coming to Hamilton

Hamilton, Ont.’s McMaster University is set to offer a new training program in sustainability for construction professionals.

In partnership with the McMaster Faculty of Engineering’s W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering will develop a Sustainable Infrastructure Training Program and certificate for future technologists and engineers in the construction sector to design, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure that is sustainable and resilient to climate change.

The Ontario government is investing $592,000 in the initiative with funding being provided through the $115 million Skills Development Fund.

“Our government launched the Skills Development Fund to generate innovative solutions to get Ontario back to work and ensure businesses have access to the qualified people they need to recover from the pandemic,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development.

“Through our new program in Hamilton, participants will learn world-leading best practices while gaining the critical skills and knowledge they need to fill in-demand jobs and support economic growth in the province.”

This new certificate program will provide training and resources to prepare up to 150 people in Hamilton for jobs in the construction sector, such as environmental engineers, surveyors, civil engineers and general managers to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Additionally, this support will help employers reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining workers and apprentices.

The training program will also drive economic growth by helping address an expected shortage of construction workers at a time when many key infrastructure projects are reaching their peak hiring periods.

The government is working to process all applications for the Skills Development Fund and discuss proposals with funding candidates.

More than 500 applications were received in the first month of the program and a second application round is now being planned.

More details will follow in the coming weeks.

To help workers get the training they need, the government’s 2021 Budget is proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit. This would be a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit that would deliver support for 2021.

The credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, or about $1,100 on average.

“Too many of our neighbours lost their jobs since this pandemic began,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, minister of finance and president of the Treasury Board.

“They lost their jobs through no fault of their own, but rather due to a virus that has required unprecedented restrictions on our economy to keep each other safe. It simply is not fair. And these workers deserve our support getting back to work. For some, that may mean exploring opportunities in a new industry. But this often requires going back to school which costs money at a time when their personal finances may have already been stretched to the limit. To help workers with their training expenses, the government is proposing a new temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021.”

Innovative sustainable infrastructure training is a key step to ensuring that Ontario’s construction and civil engineering professionals have the skills they need to build sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure, said Ishwar Puri, McMaster dean of engineering.

“I have been incredibly proud to see first-hand the commitment that McMaster University places on sustainability in myriad ways,” Puri said. “This new certificate will only strengthen these efforts.

“Through our W Booth School, we have a strong reputation for offering high-quality certificate programs designed to up skill an existing workforce that are meeting a need in the market with advanced, modern skills.”

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