HPAC Magazine

Ontario Funding New GTA Programs for Youth in Trades

July 28, 2021 | By Logan Caswell

Funding will open doors to careers in the plumbing, steam fitting, refrigeration and other trades through programs delivered by Hammer Heads.

The Ontario government has announced a new investment of over $600,000 to help 390 young people from underrepresented backgrounds train for and secure apprenticeships in the construction sector.

Funding will open doors to careers in the plumbing, steam fitting, electrical, elevator mechanic and refrigeration trades through programs delivered by Hammer Heads, a non-profit organization that supports underprivileged youth from the Greater Toronto Area.

The investment also consists of funding for three projects that support youth who are trained through the Hammer Heads pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs:

  • A free pre-apprenticeship program led by Hammer Heads to enable 18 youths, in two cohorts of nine, to participate in Hammer Heads’ 10-week program preparing them for careers in the construction sector. The program covers health and safety training, helps participants with academic upgrading and provides soft skills job preparation, construction skills training and placement with a union for an apprenticeship. The program for the first cohort began on June 21, and for the second cohort begins on January 17, 2022.
  • The Pinball Clemons Foundation will mentor 300 graduates of the Hammer Heads pre-apprenticeship program in years two through six of their apprenticeships, ensuring they have the support they need to successfully complete apprenticeship training. The Hammer Heads program currently guides program graduates through the first year of apprenticeship employment.
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 353 will also create and deliver the Hammer Heads Virtual Reality Safety Training project, which will help 72 Hammer Heads participants travel virtually onto real construction sites to learn about safety hazards and best practices.

All three new programs are part of Ontario’s $115-million Skills Development Fund, designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development.




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