Brook Restoration takes lead on project to train underprivileged youth in construction
150 youth from disadvantaged communities are getting the chance to gain work experience in construction through a new program spearheaded by Brook Restoration Ltd. and backed by a $2 million investment from the provincial government.
Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, shared details about the new, 10-week program May 14.
“We know that youth, especially those in marginalized communities, have really felt the brunt of this pandemic, with the youth unemployment rate above 20 per cent in April,” McNaughton said in a release. “This project is a great example of local businesses stepping up with a solution tailored to help those who need it most, so we can give the next generation the skills they need to support their families and make our communities stronger.”
The program includes two weeks of classroom training at Brook’s head office in Etobicoke, plus eight weeks on job sites in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa. Skills such how to work with power tools, plus introductions to building envelope restoration and construction, are part of the curriculum. Participants will be paid up to $3,000 during the two 1/2 month pre-apprenticeship program.
Edward Welch, CEO of Brook Restoration, said the initiative will give participants insightful training and work experience in the industry.
“Each participant is eligible for a job offer at the end of the program,” he said in a release. “This program’s high-level objective is to provide marginalized youth with access to the tools and knowledge that will equip them with the skills to pursue a sustainable career in the construction industry.”
It also comes at a time when the industry is working to shore up its workforce as a large cohort of skilled trades workers heads for retirement.
The first round of training starts May 24, with two additional rounds scheduled to start in September and then January of 2022. Interested applicants are asked to reach out direct to Brook.