HPAC Magazine

Ontario Makes Investment to Attract Young People to Skilled Trades Careers

The funding is expected to help attract more students to trades and ensure employers have the workers they need to grow their businesses.

November 25, 2021   Logan Caswell

Ontario has announced an additional $90 million-dollar investment over three-years to further promote the skilled trades to young people. This investment responds to the Apprenticeship Youth Advisors report, which includes several recommendations to help solve the shortage of skilled workers Ontario is currently facing.

The funding is expected to help attract more students to trades and ensure employers have the workers they need to grow their businesses and drive our economy.

As part of the announcement, the government is also investing an additional $2.9 million, for a total of $20 million annually, to expand the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and provide more opportunities for students. The OYAP now has 63 recruiters across more than 800 schools so that students can learn about the skilled trades at a younger age.

By 2025, Ontario hopes as many as one in five jobs in Ontario will be in the skilled trades, with the average age of people entering the trades being 29. At the same time, a third of tradespeople are nearing retirement, meaning the province is projected to face a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the decade.

To encourage employers to take on more apprentices, the province’s investments in achievement incentives and pre-apprenticeship training will increase to over $77 million annually, starting in 2022-2023. The achievement incentive will also focus on hiring apprentices from underrepresented groups, including women, BIPOC people, newcomers and people with disabilities.

These initiatives bring the government’s total investment in the province’s Skilled Trades Strategy to approximately $1.5 billion between 2020 and 2024.

The Ministry of Education is also planning professional learning opportunities for teachers, including guidance counsellors, so they can become more knowledgeable about the skilled trades. By promoting pathways that lead to the skilled trades and focusing on the skills needed by students to compete in the global economy, Ontario hopes to prepare students for success in the real-world.

 

ontario.ca

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