Funds For Skills Training

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Monte McNaughton is sworn into his new role as Ontario's Minister of Labour at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, June 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

HAMILTON: The Ontario government is investing an additional $21 million in pre-apprenticeship training programs for up to 2,000 people, including at-risk youth, new Canadians, Indigenous peoples and women, to help them pursue the hands-on experience they need to begin rewarding careers in the skilled trades.

Eligible organizations can apply for the funding now, with the call for proposals ending on January 5, 2021.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues made the announcement at Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 837.

“Before COVID-19, the tremendous development and growth in our province was leading to a labour shortage, with Ontario’s construction sector needing 100,000 more workers to meet its needs over the next decade,” said McNaughton. “

Pre-apprenticeship training programs last up to one year and combine classroom training with an eight- to 12-week work placement.

Last year this program helped train 1,800 people in 91 programs across the province, including 11 in Hamilton.

Training is free for participants and always includes a paid work placement. Eligible union and non-union training centres, colleges, employment agencies and other community organizations can submit their training proposals now.

LiUNA Local 837 represents 4,000 workers in Hamilton and Niagara Region, and received approximately $106,000 last year to provide pre-apprenticeship training for 12 participants in construction craft worker and cement finishing trades.

Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International vice president and regional manager of Central and Eastern Canada said: “LiUNA Training, specifically pre-apprenticeship training, is a gateway to building a rewarding career in the skilled trades. LiUNA represents over 100,000 highly skilled and diverse members across the province.”

Pre-apprenticeship training is a key part of the province’s 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, announced in November.

•The unemployment rate for the Hamilton Metropolitan Area was 8.0 per cent in November 2020, up from the February pre-COVID rate of 4.9 per cent.

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