Ontario funding Indigenous training for in-demand jobs
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Eight new provincially funded training projects aim to help 1,700 workers and jobseekers fill openings in Northern Ontario.
The Ontario government is putting $7.3 million towards eight innovative training projects that support Indigenous people across Northern Ontario. The government says the programs will prepare 1,700 workers for rewarding careers in their communities in critical sectors like construction, mining, logging, healthcare and tourism, and help fill vacant jobs in the region.
“Across Northern Ontario, thousands of great jobs are waiting to be filled,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in ground-breaking training programs that will connect more Indigenous people to the training they need to find life-changing jobs and build stronger communities for everyone.”
One of the projects receiving government funding is led by Ironworkers Local 759 in Thunder Bay. It aims to help 100 jobseekers in the region upgrade their skills to rewarding careers in Northern Ontario’s booming construction industry. The one-year ironwork and welding program will be free to participants.
“By honouring the past with time-tested techniques, we forge the future of ironwork as we proudly train our apprentices,” said BJ Sault, president of Ironworkers Local 759. “With the generous support of the provincial government, we’re not only fostering a skilled workforce but also creating opportunities that will leave a lasting impact.”
The other seven projects are led by various organizations across multiple industries in Northern Ontario. To help prepare Indigenous jobseekers for in-demand careers in their communities, the programs will offer a variety of tailored supports, including mentorships, paid job placements and mental health resources, as well as transportation and accommodation.
“By supporting innovative skills training projects across Northern Ontario, we are opening the door for Indigenous workers and job seekers to embark on meaningful, lifelong careers within in-demand sectors across a number of industries,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Minister of Northern Development. “Our government continues to reduce barriers for workplace entry, creating an intuitive process that will yield beneficial opportunities for communities, business owners and workers in the North.”
The projects are funded through Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF) Training Stream, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.