Ontario wants young people to join the trades

Ontario faces a labor shortage in skilled trades that the provincial government hopes can be filled in part by high school students and other young people.

The provincial government said Wednesday it would spend an additional $ 90 million over three years to increase the attractiveness of jobs in construction, industrial, mechanical and service trades, strengthen an apprenticeship program, and expand incentives for employees. employers.

“We are preparing students for highly skilled and in-demand jobs that will benefit us all,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce during an event at a Whitby motorcycle dealership with Labor Minister Mount McNaughton.

The ministers also said the government would add another $ 2.9 million in funding for a program that gives high school students the opportunity to gain practical experience while still in school that can count towards eventual learning hours.

The Ontario Youth Learning Program (OYAP) currently has 63 active recruiters in more than 800 schools and will now have an annual budget of $ 20 million.

He said he would spend $ 2 million to host annual career fairs across the province starting this year.

The news followed the publication of a report of youth apprenticeship advisers, who recommended that the government appoint a “skills director” to oversee the apprenticeship system, work to remove barriers for women, people of color, newcomers, and people with disabilities who have been underrepresented in the trades, and encouraged the more experienced tradesmen to become school teachers.

The measures come as Ontario faces an acute labor shortage in certain sectors that is expected to worsen as an aging workforce retires amid high demand for work on public infrastructure projects.

“More young people need to know that a job in the trades opens the door to higher pay, with a pension and benefits,” McNaughton said.

In 2019, there were about 200,000 vacant job openings in Ontario, including 13,000 under construction, according to the youth advisors report.

“More young people need to know that a job in the trades opens the door to higher pay, with a pension and benefits,” says Labor Minister Mount McNaughton. #ONpoli #Specialized Shops

Specialty construction trades include jobs as a plumber, electrician, or carpenter, industrial trades include carpenters, machinists, and welders, mechanical trades include auto body repairers and farm equipment technicians, while service trades include bakers and chefs, barbers, and hairdressers.

Up to one in five jobs in the province will be in skilled trades by 2025, the government said, adding that it expected a deficit of 100,000 construction workers over the decade.

To encourage employers to hire more apprentices, the province is expanding incentives and funding for pre-apprenticeship training to $ 77 million annually from 2022-23, up from $ 47 million in 2021-22.

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada National Observer


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