Ottawa, Ontario — The Ontario government has announced it is investing an additional $90.3 million in its Skilled Trades Strategy, over the next three years, to promote and streamline careers in the skilled trades. Key new initiatives from the Skilled Trades Strategy include creating a skilled trades career fair as well as enhancing the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.
The announcement comes as part of the “2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario” spending budget, released by Ontario’s minister of finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy. These initiatives will bring the Ontario government’s total investment in the provincial Skilled Trades Strategy to approximately $1.5 billion between 2020 and 2024.
“As we continue to protect the hard-won progress against the pandemic, our government is looking forward with our plan to build a better and brighter future for families, workers and businesses in Ontario,” said Bethlenfalvy.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, over the next decade, the province is expecting to face a loss of 100,000 construction workers due to retirement. To combat this loss, the new funding will look to expand OYAP by deploying 63 additional recruiters to teach young people about the skilled trades in more than 800 schools across the province.
The new budget will also look to invest additional funds in the skilled trades, including an extension to the temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit by one year, providing Ontarians with an additional $275 million of support for eligible training expenses, reports the province. Additionally, the province will fund $5 million in 2021-22 to expand the Second Career Program to aid newcomers, gig workers, and people with disabilities acquire the skills needed for in-demand jobs.
The government is projecting a deficit of $21.5 billion for 2021-22, which is $11.6 billion lower than the outlook published in the 2021 Budget.