Ontario funding job training for trades
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
New projects will help more than 2,600 people who face barriers to employment prepare for meaningful work in their community.
The Ontario government is putting $2.5 million towards training programs for students and others looking for careers in southwestern Ontario. The funds are being directed to four free training projects that will help 385 jobseekers over the age of 55 and 2,300 students, two groups that face barriers to employment.
Although research has shown that more than two-thirds of people over the age of 55 feel the job market is closed to them, and youth in Ontario are unemployed at a rate twice as high as the provincial average, more than 17,000 jobs are going unfilled in the London area.
“As Ontario continues to combat a historic labour shortage, we need to ensure everyone in our community gets a fair shot at the training they need to land life-changing careers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for Ontario. “These free projects will help level the playing field and give disadvantaged young people, seniors – everyone in between – in London a chance at better jobs and bigger paycheques.”
Led by Over 55 London, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Pathways Employment Help Centre and WePrep Inc./LiUNA Local 1059, the province says the programs will prioritize those traditionally shut out of the job market, such as at-risk youth and those over the age of 55. They will prepare jobseekers for well-paying careers in construction, manufacturing, property maintenance, hospitality, retail, and other in-demand industries in London and the surrounding region.
“So much can be achieved when we work together,” said Steve Cordes, CEO at Youth Opportunities Unlimited. “In partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Youth Opportunities Unlimited is striving to remove the barriers that prevent youth from accessing skilled training as the next step on their career path.”
His organization is working with Fanshawe College and Michael + Clark Construction to provide training and experience to 60 youth, exposing them to career opportunities in the construction sector.
Participants in the programs receiving funding will have the chance to explore a range of employment and training options through hands-on training, apprenticeships, on-the-job learning, and financial literacy courses. They will also have access to free equipment like work boots and tools, and support with living expenses, childcare, transportation, and mental health resources, to ensure a smooth transition to the job market.
“Ontario’s investment in four free training projects will give underprivileged individuals in Southwestern Ontario the opportunity to find meaningful and well-paying jobs,” said Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.