On-Site Magazine

CLAC kickstarting construction careers

By Adam Freill   

Construction Labour Leadership

Free construction skills “bootcamp” designed to create a pathway to a career.

The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) is offering a new construction bootcamp training program in Ontario through its CLAC Training division. The program is designed to help individuals with limited or no experience in the skilled trades gain the skills they need to start a fulfilling, well-paying construction career.

“Bootcamp” includes a free, three-week entry-level training program with an eight-week paid job placement with a local construction employer. It is currently offered in Cambridge and Grimsby, but plans are for the program to expand to other areas of the province as well.

The program was developed with the aid of a $1.5 million grant from the Ontario government’s Skill Development Fund (SDF). The provincial Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development is investing $200 million dollars through partnerships with training groups, community organizations, and unions that develop fresh ideas for training that upskill workers and connect them to lucrative careers close to home.

“Over the next decade, Ontario is projected to need 100,000 more workers in construction and the skilled trades,” stated Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “These jobs often offer six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits and are paycheques waiting to be collected.”


“CLAC’s construction Bootcamp is a partnership between CLAC, signatory employers, and community partners to provide over 100 local individuals with the essential skills to start their construction careers,” explained Colin de Raaf, Ontario director for CLAC Training. “It is one small step to addressing the skilled trades shortage in the construction sector.”

“This program is a fantastic introduction to the dynamic construction industry and an essential broad range of skill sets,” added Karen Renkema, Ontario vice-president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada. “Providing hands-on experience in one of the fastest growing fields is a great way to launch a construction career and help ease the critical shortage of skilled trades workers.”

During the three weeks of in-class, online, and hands-on training, participants will learn about construction health and safety, how to safely use hand and power tools, communication skills and conflict management, construction-oriented math, and more. Participants will also earn mandatory safety certificates.

During the eight-week paid work placement, participants will apply their new skills and experience on the job, while receiving support from CLAC staff, workplace mentors, and their employer.

Additional program supports include up to 26 weeks of one-on-one career-based support from CLAC staff and community partners, which includes needs-based financial assistance toward childcare, accommodation, and transportation. Participants will also receive a tool kit valued at $450 and full personal protective equipment and clothing.

Employers taking part in the program will receive wage subsidies of 50 per cent to support the eight-week paid work placement.

To learn more about enrolling in the program, or how to refer others to the program, visit www.clac.ca/bootcamp.




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