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More funding for skilled trades programs

By Randy Thoms Aug 8, 2023 | 1:23 PM

The provincial government continues to seek out new workers in the skilled trades.

It is spending $3.6 million on three initiatives.

One program specifically targets women.

It will help 700 tradeswomen gain leadership skills, communications, health and safety training, and networking opportunities to start and advance their careers in the industry.

The program to be run by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), will include a speaker’s bureau to partner tradeswomen with speaking opportunities with schools, employment agencies, trade shows, and other events across the province to mentor and attract more women into the skilled trades.

Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton says nearly 30% of all apprenticeship in the trades today are held by women.

“It’s because we’re changing the conversation around the skilled trades. For far too long in Ontario, under governments of all different stripes, they’ve told people that the only way to be successful in life is by going to university. There’s nothing further from the truth. These are jobs that can pay six figures with pensions and benefits. You can build families around,” says McNaughton.

The minister adds they have also taken steps to improve the health and safety of workers on job sites with the introduction of women-only bathrooms and increased inspections.

Other programs being funded include an online resource site where people can learn more about the skilled trades, build core skills and find apprenticeship opportunities.

The province is also supporting PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trades program that provides at-risk youth with hands-on learning opportunities, behind-the-scenes access to high-profile construction projects and training.



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