London, ON — Over $4 million will be invested by the Ontario government in projects related to the construction industry. There are a total of six projects which will receive funding. This includes:
- A pre-apprenticeship program for 460 workers to learn about rod working typically used in transit and light rail bridge construction. The Ontario Ironworkers District Council will provide two weeks of in-class training and an eight-week work placement. Training will be available in Ottawa, Toronto, Sudbury, Hamilton and Windsor. Those who successfully complete the program will be registered and employed as apprentices;
- Tomorrow’s Trades project to introduce 96 underrepresented youth to the skilled trades in Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Sudbury. This project will include 12-weeks of hands-on training and a 12-week work placement to learn about being carpenters, electrical workers, pipe trades, sheet metal workers and ironworkers. Upon completion, participants can enter a union-sponsored apprenticeship;
- A new Building and Construction Tradeswomen project to attract more women to the trades through marketing and free training;
- Support for Ironworkers Local 759 in Thunder Bay to purchase necessary equipment used in training, testing and certifying 140 apprentices and journeypersons;
- The development of a one-stop online learning system for those interested in the construction trades; and
- A research project at the De Novo Treatment Centre in Huntsville to study and provide support for addiction and suicide issues in the construction industry.
“Construction workers make our dreams come to life—it’s on their backs that we have the homes our families live in, the schools where we learn, and the hospitals and health care centres that have been crucial to us over the last 18 months,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of labour, training, and skills development. “We need to take care of these talented workers by giving them what they need to build with confidence and vision, while training our future generation for these in-demand jobs.”
The announcement was made at the United Association Local 527’s training centre in London. According to the ministry, data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, there were 11,805 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, which is up over 1,500 job vacancies compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
“These projects offer a great opportunity for those interested in the trades to explore, experience and get involved in any of the Unionized Construction Skilled Trade Apprenticeships leading to meaningful careers in Ontario,” said Adam Melnick, program director at Construction Training and Apprenticeship Ontario, and Tomorrow’s Trades. “All of these projects will be helpful to Ontario’s Building and Construction Trades Unions and their employer partners in advancing their efforts in building a more inclusive and diverse workforce by improving awareness and pathways to apprenticeships and careers in the industry.”