A Southern Ontario college has recently been accredited for its construction boilermaker apprenticeship program, reports the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
The announcement comes as Minister Monte McNaughton is beginning what he has called a “Listening Tour,” where he plans to speak with frontline tradespeople across Ontario.
Funding was provided to six in-class training programs at Lambton College, Sarnia, Ont., including the new construction boilermaker program.
“People in Sarnia and the surrounding region should take note. There is demand here for welders, millwrights, steamfitters, concrete finishers and boilermakers,” said McNaughton. “These are exciting, fulfilling and often well-paying careers. They are for people who want challenging, hands-on work that provides security, advancement and freedom to travel or become an entrepreneur.”
The government will invest $926,416 over the fiscal year to apprenticeship programs at Lambton. This will include instrumentation and control technician – receiving funding to train 37 apprentices, steamfitter – receiving funding to train 102 apprentices, construction boilermaker – receiving funding to train 24 apprentices, general carpenter – receiving funding to train 112 apprentices, construction maintenance electrician – receiving funding to train 94 apprentices, and welder – receiving funding to train 17 apprentices.
“Ontario is facing a looming problem,” said McNaughton. “Our skilled tradespeople are retiring faster than we can replace them.”
Boilermakers build, install, maintain and repair boilers, tanks and pressure vessels in residential and industrial settings, including the local petrochemical industry in southwestern Ontario and at Ontario’s two nuclear generating stations. The province reports that up to 40 per cent of current boilermakers are expected to retire in the next few years.
In 2018, the Ontario Auditor General’s annual report stated that between 2021 and 2025, Ontario will require 1,000 boilermakers for refurbishment of Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington and Bruce Nuclear Generating Stations.