Ontario to build training centres to upskill workers
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The province will invest $224 million in the project, and another $75 million to support the operations and programing at new and existing centres.
The Ontario government is investing $224 million to build and upgrade training centres in a bid to tackle the province’s labour shortage and get more people into careers in the skilled trades.
The province also plans to invest $75 million more over the next three years to support the operations and programing at new and existing centres to prepare workers for in-demand careers like electricians, welders and mechanics.
“[We’re] providing more women and men with opportunities to begin or advance their careers in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As our population grows, we’re working hand-in-hand with labour unions, business groups and our colleges and universities to train the skilled workforce that will build the roads, highways, houses, public transit, hospitals and schools our economy needs.”
Applications for the new Skills Development Fund (SDF) capital stream are expected to open in late spring and will provide eligible applicants, including unions, Indigenous centres, businesses and industry associations, with funding to build new training centres or to upgrade or convert their existing facilities into training centres with new design and technology. This includes facility renovations, retrofits, expansions, repairs and building construction.
“Ontario is facing the largest labour shortage in a generation, which means when you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Today, we’re supporting employers, unions and other training providers so that they can build and improve the facilities we need to attract and prepare our next generation of skilled trades workers for better jobs and bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”
Nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled across Ontario, provincial officials say, costing billions in lost productivity. To address this, the Skilled Development Fund capital stream will create opportunities for unions and training providers to improve and expand their facilities.
Through this program, the government is trying to increase the province’s training infrastructure to support growth in the skilled trades and other in-demand occupations.